Emergency Brakes_Cloverdale Auto

The Purpose Of Car & Truck Emergency Brakes

Purpose Of Car & Truck Emergency Brakes

Being the driver of an automobile comes with many responsibilities, and one of these tasks is to know all about your car’s braking system. You know the main brake is beside the accelerator, but the emergency brake can assist you in times of trouble. This device is not just there for decoration, as it’s a stopping aid that provides an extra level of security. It’s likely you haven’t used this brake often, but knowing you have it and how to use it can be beneficial.

What if you’re hurling down the road going 70 mph, and you see the cars in front of you come to a sudden stop? You try to engage your braking system, but it’s not stopping your vehicle. What’s the first thing you do? Thankfully, there’s another way to control your car and prevent an accident. The parking brake can be the device that stands between you and a significant collision. 


The History of the Parking Brakes

The first vehicles didn’t have a backup braking system, but around the 1920s, these devices were added to automobiles. It was initially called the parking or handbrake, but before the installation of these devices, drivers had to rely on the gears of the transmission to keep their cars stationary. 

Sadly, the transmission wasn’t a reliable source when the car was on a steep incline, so having a more sophisticated method was necessary. The first emergency brakes were operated using a hand lever or foot pedal. They were connected to the original braking system through the rear wheels to stop the vehicle. 

When the parking brake was engaged, it applied pressure to the wheels, which prevented them from moving or rotating. The primary purpose is to keep the vehicle stationary.

As vehicles evolved, so did the design and placement of these devices. Now, vehicles have emergency brakes neatly fitted in the center console. Even more sophisticated automobiles utilize an electronic button that engages the system.

These days, all cars and trucks come equipped with an emergency braking system, an essential safety feature. Not only does it help in securing a vehicle when parked on an incline, but it also provides additional means of control in emergencies.


4 Purposes of An Emergency Brake

You’re not alone if you have not given the parking brake much thought. However, there are four vital functions that this additional braking system can provide you that you should know how to use.  

1. It Offers Load Control

While 18-wheelers often rely on their parking brake for safety while hauling large loads, you can also find them valuable while towing a camper or other car. Loading and unloading a vehicle can provide many dangers as the automobile can roll or shift. 

Thankfully, when you engage the emergency brake, you stop the vehicle from moving even an inch. If you ever need to stop a truck carrying a large load while driving, the parking brake can be of much assistance. 

2. It Brings the Vehicle to a Controlled Stop

While the weather in North Carolina is usually favorable, there are times when slick roads and sudden stops can leave you in harm’s way. During rain, snow, or inclement weather, having an extra brake that you can engage at a moment’s notice is helpful. 

Driving down the roadways in life puts you in the face of danger where you may need to react quickly. You may experience total failure in your ABS braking system, and you must rely on the parking brake to safely stop the vehicle. The parking brake helps bring the car to a controlled stop and alleviates the potential of accidents or collisions.

3. It’s a Backup to the Primary Braking System

When you park your vehicle, if there’s the slightest bit of incline in the ground, it can cause your automobile to roll forward or backwards. This was a common problem when manual transmissions or stick shifts were popular, but even an automatic transmission could move when parked. 

Engaging the emergency brake adds another layer of protection for your car. Since the primary ABS uses hydraulic pressure that isn’t functional while the engine is off, you can rest assured that your vehicle will remain safe and unmoved by using the parking brake instead. 

4. It’s Useful During Inspections and Maintenance

No one likes taking their vehicle to the garage to be serviced, but the emergency brake benefits your mechanic during routine maintenance and inspections. By applying the emergency brake and putting the car in gear or park, we can help to prevent the wheels from rotating during repairs. Additionally, during safety inspections, it’s commonly engaged to help protect the inspector and the owner. 


Emergency Brake Inspections

When was the last time you had your emergency brake inspected? Most people ignore it as they only worry about the primary ABS. The emergency brake is an important safety feature that helps secure your vehicle when parked, providing an additional measure of control in emergencies or while handling heavy loads. Ensuring it works properly is imperative for you and the safety of the passengers in your car. 

Proper usage of the emergency brake contributes to overall vehicle safety and prevents accidents or damage caused by uncontrolled vehicle movement. Call today to schedule an inspection on the parking brake and give yourself peace of mind that when you need to use it, it will function as it should.

Cloverdale Auto Service