Brake Safety Information

Brakes are one of the most important safety components of a vehicle: without properly working brakes, you will have no way of stopping in time to avoid a crash. Defective brakes are the most common vehicle defect contributing to serious crashes, and the second most common (after defective tyres) contributing to fatal crashes.


Regularly checking brakes is important to drivers noticing any problems early on and getting them fixed, avoiding more serious and costly problems and the deadly risk of sudden brake failure.


Drivers should look out for any of the following warning signs:


  • needing to press much harder than usual on the brake

  • the vehicle taking longer than usual to stop when brakes are applied

  • the brake pedal sinking right down when you put your foot on it

  • the brake pedal becoming very stiff and hard to push down

  • the handbrake not releasing, or moving up and down much easier than usual

  • Sqeeling or grinding noise when brake pedal is pressed


It is important for drivers to test brakes regularly to help ensure they notice any differences. This should be done on a safe, empty, flat stretch of road, early in the journey, once a week and before long journeys. If drivers notice any problems, or are in any doubt as to the state of brakes, they should consult a qualified mechanic immediately and not risk driving a vehicle if there is a possibility the brakes are damaged.