It’s probably happened to you at some point. You’re a passenger in a car with a friend or relative, only to find that their braking technique is stressful, troublesome, and nauseating. Not only does it make your stomach turn, but you brace yourself, ready for the rear impact from the car behind. If you happen to be the one with rough braking habits, don’t fear. With just a few tips, you can brake smoothly, without the fear of an accident or mechanical failure on your car. Here are just a few suggestions to get you started.
- Brake Smoothly, But Not Rapidly
When you’re coming to a stoplight or stop sign, resist the urge to wait until the last moment. Instead, apply the brakes early and smoothly. Most newer cars have anti-lock brakes, so when you press down on the brake, you may feel a pulsation. Even with this feeling, keep your pressure on the brakes. If it’s quicker than you expected, you can also put your left foot on the foot rest to help stabilize your body. Keep practicing to get your timing down. Otherwise, you may find yourself braking too hard too soon or losing traction due to a swift stop.
- Ease off the Stick Shift
If you’re driving a manual transmission car, you’re probably in the minority. Today, many four-wheel drive and sports cars still come equipped with a stick shift. When you’re decelerating, remember that you don’t actually have to downshift. A manual transmission is solely for acceleration, so when you shift gears while braking, you’re actually putting unnecessary stress on the transmission. Avoid this temptation, and wait until you’re at a complete stop before you shift to first gear.
- Keep The Car Straight
Paying attention to the road is a pivotal point of successful and safe driving. When you’re braking, a sudden turn of the wheel often puts you in harm’s way rather than taking you to safety. If your car has ABS, you may not need to turn the wheel at all, as this system is designed to take a quick and sudden braking. When slamming the brakes isn’t an option, try feathering, or tapping the brakes while maneuvering your vehicle out of the way of an obstacle.
- Get Control of the Car
Sometimes, it’s impossible to keep control of the car, especially when something darts in your path without warning. You may instinctively slam the brakes and turn the wheel, causing you to lose traction and control of the car. If this happens, make certain to turn into the skid. This is extremely important. If you turn away from the skid, you will overcompensate for the original turn, causing your car to swerve. In the worst case, you’ll roll the car, and you may not walk away unscathed.
Don’t fret when it comes to braking your car smoothly and safely. The most integral part of exemplary braking is keeping calm and not panicking. If you can manage to remain steady and keep these details in mind, you’ll avoid any potential disaster.
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