*** B is for Brakes ***
Brakes are for slowing down, or stopping but there are other ways we can slow our vehicle down, such as simply taking our foot off the gas, changing gears, and using engine braking.
Different cars can have different types of brakes – disc brakes or drum brakes. The more pressure you put on the foot brake, the more the vehicle will slow down. Slowing down under control isn’t just a matter of slamming the foot brake on as hard as you can. As with the other foot pedals, using the foot brake needs practice.
Progressive braking is a safe driving technique that:
Allows other drivers time to react
Saves wear and tear on brakes, tyres and suspension
Uses less fuel than harsh braking.
To brake progressively
Feel - Put light pressure on the brake at first
Firm - Gradually increase the pressure as required to stop the vehicle
Feather - When the vehicle has almost stopped, ease off the pressure so that the vehicle stops smoothly. There should be little or no pressure as the vehicle actually stops.
Five good rules for braking:
Anticipate -Think and look well ahead
Know your own limitations and those of your vehicle
Take note of the state of the road and the surface
Give yourself plenty of time and distance to brake progressively
Avoid the risk of skidding, rather than trying to control it.
Braking shifts the weight of the vehicle forward. This can make steering more difficult.
Whenever you brake, you should consider:
The safety and peace of mind of everyone concerned, including your passengers
The wear and tear on your brakes, tyres, and suspension
The vehicles behind you, whose brakes might not be as powerful as yours.
*Reproduced with the kind permission of Mercury Driving School