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Faulty brakes that work inefficiently or sporadically greatly increase the chances of a collision. In fact, brake-related issues are a common cause of accidents.

Bhatt Law Group reports that according to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration survey released in early 2015, brakes were responsible for 10,000 of the vehicle-related critical reasons for car accidents between 2005 and 2007. That translates into 22 % of collisions caused by a vehicle issue.

While annual inspections are mandatory, drivers should be aware that their brakes may signal them at any time that something is amiss. Knowing there is a potential problem with brakes can go a long way in keeping your drivers and others safe on the road.

Experts say drivers should be aware of the following signs that indicate brakes may be faulty:

Noise — Screeching, grinding or clicking noises when applying the brakes is a sign they may need to be repaired.

Pulling — If the vehicle pulls to one side when you are braking, there is a problem.  

Low pedal — If the brake pedal barely touches the floor before engaging, you likely have an issue.

Diminished responsiveness — When you must apply extreme pressure to the pedal before brakes engage, or if the brakes are delayed or simply do not stop the vehicle as fast as they used to, they may be failing.

Vibration — If the brake pedal, steering wheel, or any other part of the car vibrates or shakes when a driver presses down on the brakes, this could mean a part of the brakes is broken or defective.

Warning light — If the brake light is illuminated on your vehicle’s dashboard, it is time to have it inspected by a professional.

About the author
Marianne Matthews

Marianne Matthews


Marianne Matthews contributes safety news and articles for the Fleet Safety newsletter. She is an experienced trade editor.

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