On April 29, 2009, Diane Marie Hunter, 44, of Orlando, crashed her vehicle into a convenience store on Powers Drive after her brakes failed when she attempted to stop at a traffic light, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Luckily no one was injured, but Ms. Hunter has been charged with failure to maintain the brakes on her vehicle by the Florida Highway Patrol. The front of the convenience store was destroyed.
For anyone who has experienced brake failure in their vehicle, they know what a terrifying experience it can be. It is important to be aware of what to do in case brake failure occurs. According to the National Safety Council, the first thing to do if brake failure is suspected is to stay calm. Turn your directional signal on and move to the shoulder of the road.
Let the car gradually slow down by taking your foot off the gas pedal. Shift the car into a lower gear so the engine can help slow the car. Simply steer as your vehicle slows.
Once off of the road, shift into neutral and gradually apply the hand brake until the vehicle stops. If the hand brake has also failed, direct the car onto a soft shoulder or rub the wheel against a curb which will help the car to slow down. It is important to get the car to a safe place to avoid stopping traffic or being involved in a rear-end collision. Turn on your emergency flashers once the car has come to a complete stop.
Call for help and remember to never drive the vehicle, no matter how slowly, without brakes!