If you've ever driven through the mountains, you've probably started thinking about what you'd do if your brakes failed. It's something that doesn't cross your mind a lot in the city, but looking at the road dropping away for miles ahead of you gives you a new appreciation for your brakes. At the same time, the runaway truck lanes on the side of the road show you just how serious this problem can be.

The Signs

Of course, the best way to keep your brakes from failing is to have them checked out frequently. Some say you should do this every six months.

That being said, there are some common signs of brake failure that you can watch out for. These include the following:

  • When you use the brakes, you hear a clicking sound.
  • Pressing down on the brake pedal is simply less effective than it used to be. It feels soft and the car doesn't stop quickly.
  • The car always wants to pull to the left or the right when you brake, indicating that one side is not working as well as the other.
  • You can hear the brakes squealing or grinding as they stop the car.
  • The brake pedal vibrates or pulses when you use it.

This is not an exhaustive list, but it gives you some idea of what to watch out for. Essentially, if the brakes feel "off," it's best to have them looked at while they still work, rather than waiting for them to go out.

Dangerous Drivers

The drivers around you may put you in danger without even realizing it, deciding to keep using brakes that are about to fail. When they finally go out, you're in traffic with an out-of-control vehicle and a driver who can't avoid a crash. If you're injured in that accident, you need to know if you have a right to financial compensation for your injuries.