Most drivers lack emergency maneuvering skills. There is little if any training in this in the driving education courses for getting a driving license. Once people start driving, they avoid getting into emergency situations (as they should). Because of this, motorists needlessly get into accidents because they can’t pull off the required emergency maneuver to avoid the crash.

One of the most basic and important maneuvers is emergency braking. When motorists are forced to brake hard, they often fail to brake hard enough in the case of ABS brakes, or they hit the brakes too hard when they don’t have ABS.

Emergency Braking without ABS

No matter how desperate the situation, never slam or stomp down hard on the brakes. This will guaranty an accident because your wheels will lock up. When this happens, you will lose your steering because you will continue skidding forward regardless of your steering wheel position. The braking power of skidding rubber against pavement is much weaker than that of your brakes. Instead, you should squeeze the brake pedal firmly. Continue squeezing harder until your tires just start to skid. Let up just slightly so that you’re close the edge of skidding. At this point your brakes and tires are braking at their maximum capability. Maintain this until you stop.

If the pavement is dry, you will know when your tires are skidding because of their squealing noise. On wet pavement, you might hear the tires sliding, but it won’t be as loud as a dry pavement squeal. If your steering wheel feels unresponsive, then your tires are skidding.

Emergency Braking with ABS

With ABS brakes, a computer never allows the braking to exceed the grip of the tires with the road. This prevents your tires from skidding. However, the system does require some input from you: how hard you want to brake. It determines this by how hard you press the brake pedal. Therefore, when you must do an emergency stop, you should stomp hard on the brakes and continue pressing down on it very hard. This tells the computer in no uncertain terms that you need the car to stop ASAP. Don’t worry about the sounds or pulsating that the brakes make. Keep this up until the car stops.

If you sustained injuries in a car crash, contact us at Hogan Injury for a free consultation.

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