Car Braking Explained


Safely driving your vehicle is definitely an acquired skill. It takes time behind the wheel to understand which driving habits are harmful to you, your fellow passengers, and your fellow motorists. Of all the vehicle systems that are often used incorrectly, none is misused more than the braking system. Applying your vehicle’s brakes in the most effective way will help prevent accidents, protect your brake pads and avoid any unnecessary brake repairs, preserve your tire’s tread, as well as promote overall driver safety. Good braking techniques involve brake signaling, stopping distance, and conditions awareness.

Brake Signaling

Brake signaling is seldom discussed when talking about the habits of a good driver. It’s probably because brake signaling is what we should be doing for other drivers. Brake lights are not only on our bumpers for our sake, but also for the sake of other drivers. When you’re a vigilant driver, you can see upcoming traffic and anticipate any reasons to brake up ahead. Tapping your brakes, or “pumping your brakes,” is a signal to other motorists that you are about to brake. This type of notification is much safer than braking at the last minute, and prevents you from being rear-ended.

Stopping Distance

Maintaining proper stopping distance is probably the braking technique you’ve heard about most often. It’s the one practice that will ensure you are never forced to slam on brakes or are forced to run into someone. Monitoring your distance from the vehicle in front of you. The three second rule is a general rule of thumb, but it may be hard to maintain, depending on how heavy the traffic is. Stopping distance proves that car braking is not just about putting your foot on the pedal. Protect your vehicle, and braking system, by giving it proper stopping distance.

Conditions Awareness

This may be the most important of all safe braking techniques. It’s not enough to know where the brake pedal is, and how to press the brakes. All drivers must be aware of the conditions in which they’re driving. These conditions include the condition of the brakes, the road conditions, and the weather conditions. Don’t find out after the accident that your brakes were slow, hard, spongy, or in need of brake pad replacements. There are many road conditions like windy highway off-ramps, roadway construction, as well as wet, snowy, and icy roads that will compromise your vehicle’s ability to brake effectively.

Written by KD Automotive