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How to Safely Brake

Tips For Close Call Braking

Brakes are an essential part of operating a motor vehicle. When studying for the driver’s license test, one of the first things people learn is how to keep a fair distance and brake safely. In traffic, you want to keep a distance the size of another car between you. You should stay at least two to three seconds behind another vehicle. Maintaining a fair following distance gives you enough time to break after a sudden stop as well as other situations, such as the following.

Don’t Panic

Try your best to remain calm during a sudden stop. When you panic, you might make an impulsive decision that could cause more harm.

Slow Down

Before you start to pump the brake, slow down first by coasting or by simply removing your foot from the accelerator. If you are going at a moderate speed, looking ahead becomes easier and causes less of a panic. If you have a habit of speeding, try using your cruise control to get you in the habit of speeding less.

Pump the Brake

Pump your brakes, but do not slam on them. Older cars tend to lock up and stop working when this happens. If you have an ABS (anti-lock) brake system, you may notice your vehicle begins to pump the brakes automatically.

Know Your System

Make sure you know what kind of brake system you have whether it is a standard brake system or ABS system. There are also disc brakes that apply friction to slow down an automobile wheel, a hydraulic brake system that forces brake pads on a wheel cylinder, or the latest AEBS system that senses another vehicle’s proximity and can brake automatically.

Proper Hand Position

Make sure your hands are at the proper ten and two position, which is the top of the steering wheel. This is another essential driving tip that provides better control of the wheel, especially if you need to make a sudden turn.

Straight Lines

If you can, avoid turning suddenly. Braking in a straight line can help you avoid a tailspin or a skid. Braking in a straight line puts less wear on your tires and prevents the backend of your vehicle from crashing into another object or vehicle.

Turn into The Skid

If you begin to skid or spin, turn the wheel into the direction you’re skidding. You may have to do this a couple times in each direction, but turning into the skid will add balance and help you maintain control.

Think you or someone you know is in need of Behind the Wheel Training? Training Wheels is a Linwood driving school specializing in teaching new teen drivers how to stay safe on the road. For more information on our lessons, please click here.

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