Stopping a car with no brakes

Do not intentionally try to stop a car with no brakes. This information is for emergency situations only.

Be observant

Be aware of the way your brake pedal normally feels. If it ever feels soft, as if it's not as effective as it usually is, have it checked out by a licensed mechanic immediately.


If you are driving over snow, ice or a wet road, your break pedal feels normal, but you can't slow down, then your breaks are working just fine. They have slowed the rotation of your tires. Unfortunately, your tires are sliding. When driving over a puddle the tires can be lifted onto the water's surface. This is called hydroplaning. In these situations you need to...

  • Pump the break pedal
  • Turn the wheels in the direction you want to go

When Breaks Fail

If you are driving and your breaks actually fail, meaning they are not slowing the rotation of your tires, here's what you do...

  • Pump the brake pedal
  • Shift down to the lowest gear
  • Apply steady even pressure to the emergency brake
  • Gently swerve back and forth across the road. Steadily turn as much as you can while keeping all four tires on the ground. The slower you're going the sharper you can turn.

If you are desperate

  • Try sideswiping a guardrail as long as you are not on a bridge
  • Locate another car going the same speed. Approach them from behind honking your horn to warn them. Hit the back of their bumper squarely. If you hit one side or the other you could send them out of control. If the other car breaks it can stop both cars.

If you are headed off a cliff, you've tried everything, and death is inevitable.

You may want to try this stuntman trick...

  • Yank the parking break hard while turning the steering wheel a quarter of a turn away from the cliff. If you are headed toward a wall Stuntmen do this to turn a car 180û.

Obviously this is extremely dangerous and not recommended to anyone. But if you are headed toward death and have tried all previous suggestions, who knows. It may save your life. Understand we are not responsible if you flip your car and permanently injure yourself. This is a last resort to be avoided at all costs except your life.

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