Have you ever driven behind a car which constantly makes unpredictable stops? It’s probably because that vehicle’s driver hasn’t yet mastered the process of braking. And there are many drivers like this on the highway. Automotive Expert Ian Swan advises that “Braking is a skill. Braking, just like any other aspect of driving, takes a certain level of skill to get right. Good braking technique will not only be less stressful on the driver and passengers, but it will also prolong the life of the vehicle itself.” Whether or not you have a lot of experience behind the wheel, it’s important to always brake smoothly. Good braking does a lot to prevent traffic collisions. Here are a few tips on the proper way to decelerate, and brake:
I. Be Generous with Stopping Distance:
Cars don’t come to an immediate stop just because you’ve decided to activate the brakes. Even with the pedal pressed down completely, it’s still going to take a few seconds for the car to come to a halt. Always keep this in mind when operating a vehicle. Increase your stopping distance the faster you’re traveling so that momentum never forces you into an accident.
II. Obey the Speed Limit:
Driving too fast is a recipe for disaster. Even if you’re a skilled driver, speeding dramatically reduces the time available to respond to road conditions. If you want to avoid the risk of collisions while braking, don’t operate your vehicle at excessive speeds. Moderate speed also reduces the strain on mechanical components while slowing down.
III. Be Cautious About Weight:
There’s a big difference between driving an ordinary car, and driving heavy vehicles like trucks or semis. This is because the more weight a vehicle has, the more inertia it develops when slowing to a stop. If you know you’re driving a heavy vehicle, avoid tailgating at all costs. Maintain a wide gap of distance from the vehicles in front of you so that you can come to a stop with ease.
IV. Use Emergency-Braking Sparingly:
Even if your vehicle might be in mint condition, slamming the brakes to come to a stop isn’t something that should happen often. When emergency brakes are used, the components of your braking system get worn out. Especially the brake pads. If you keep hearing a grinding/squealing noise whenever the brakes are depressed, that’s a sign your brakes are worn out thanks to aggressive stopping.
The key to managing speed at all times is situational awareness. Analyze your surroundings carefully so that you understand how and when to stop if necessary. But beyond that, maintain good posture in your own vehicle, just in case you have to make an emergency stop. Braking is easy once you understand that it’s all about alertness. Pay attention to the road, and pay attention to your vehicle as well. For more information, visit our website or give us a call at 1-800-639-7654 to find out how Adriana’s Insurance Services can help you stay safe. We got you covered!