What if Your Brakes Fail? Although rare, total brake failure can be a terrifying and perilous experience. As in all emergency situations, remaining calm is the first and most important step. In addition to that:

  • Shift into a lower gear if your car has an automatic transmission. If it has a manual transmission, downshift.
  • Engage the emergency brake.
  • Turn on your emergency flashers and carefully pull off onto the side of the road.
  • Turn off the engine and call for help.