Statistically, over 300,000 car crashes in the United States happen because of brake issues. Even the most careful drivers who leave enough space between their vehicle and the one in the front can sometimes get into accidents, unable to react fast enough in an unexpected situation, on a wet road, etc. Sometimes those accidents also happen because of the brakes` failure.
The ability to stop your car is one of the fundamental safety factors for any driver. In this article, we shall discuss the braking distance, how to take control of it, and make sure that your brakes work perfectly and won’t get you into trouble one day.
What is a braking distance?
Technically the braking distance is the space you need to leave between your car and the vehicle in front of you to be able to stop successfully, even in an emergency case.
The braking distance depends on many factors, from the condition of the road and weather to the type and weight of the vehicle itself. Basically, the heavier a car is, the longer will be its braking distance. As for the road, of course, it will be much easier to stop a vehicle on a dry and clean road rather than a wet and icy terrain.
And, of course, the condition of your car and especially its brakes will affect the braking distance severely. In other words, even the same vehicle can have different braking distances at different conditions.
How to make sure that your brakes are in good shape
When your car is fully loaded or you have to drive on a wet or snowy road, you will probably keep in mind the change in the braking system and make sure to maintain distance between your car and other vehicles on the road.
However, sometimes you may get into an accident due to issues with the braking system itself. Here are some essential signs that your car may need brake service:
- Brake light on the dashboard – This indicator may turn on due to a number of reasons, but it is always best to address a qualified mechanic right away to make sure that your car is safe to drive;
- Squealing sounds and grinding sensation when you hit the brakes – those are usually the signs of worn-out brake pads that need an immediate replacement;
- Shaking a wobbling – if the car seems to “vibrate” when you hit the brakes, it is often a sign of faulty brake rotors;
- Brake fuel leak – if you notice some stains on the parking lot or see that some liquid seems to leak from the car’s wheels, it is probably a leak of a braking fluid. Being the essential element of the hydraulic brake system, this liquid creates the necessary pressure to make your brakes work smoothly. Once it leaks, the pressure falls, the braking distance increases dramatically, and you may lose control and get into an accident.
As soon as you notice one of those signs, make sure to take your car to a credible garage as soon as possible. Well-maintained brakes are the key to safe driving and even a life-saver in emergency situations on the road.
Do you want to learn more about the essential maintenance for your vehicle to get the most out of your driving experience and stay safe in any road condition? Contact OHS Body Shop today or visit one of our branches located all over Montana’s Greater Flathead Valley, in Kalispell, Whitefish, Columbia Falls and Polson.
Here you will find qualified mechanics and all the necessary services from routine check-ups to urgent repairs to ensure your safe driving and enjoy maximum comfort on the road.