Did you know that harsh braking can damage more than your brakes?
Published June 15th, 2017
When Is The Last Time You Slammed On The Brakes In Your Car?
If you have to be completely honest, it was probably not long ago. Although we’d all like to pretend that we’re attentive and patient drivers at all hours of the day, everyone has their moments. There are many things that can cause harsh braking, such as being distracted by your phone, chatting to passengers or spotting a distraction outside your window. Then there’s the sudden braking that we do when we’re tired and fail to spot a traffic sign in time or are forced to slam on the brakes because we’re impatiently tailgating the car in front of us. Yes, we’re all guilty of harsh braking. But what kind of damage is this doing to our cars in the long term and what can we do about it?
The list of possible damages that can occur when harshly braking is much longer than you think. Most of us know that it can cause our brakes to overheat and wear out quicker, but the damage goes far beyond just your brake pads and brake tubes. Constant hard braking can trigger your ABS when it isn’t needed, wearing out and stressing the system prematurely. It can also reduce tyre traction and wear a flat spot onto one or more of your tyres and damage your drive shaft.
Not only will this wear out your car parts and make repairs necessary sooner rather than later, but it will also cost you more in fuel as your car operates under increased stress.
To avoid prematurely having to replace or repair any core component of your vehicle, you should take steps to change your driving habits. The first and most obvious change you can make is to limit distractions. This means not answering or operating any device when driving (even via Bluetooth or a hands-free kit) and keeping other distractions such as chatting and even music to a minimum.
The second change that you can make is to actively strive to become a proactive driver rather than a reactive one. This means paying attention to your surroundings and where possible, anticipating behaviour which might require you to break suddenly.
Not only will less harsh braking preserve your car’s parts, but it will also make you a better driver – something that we need more of on the road!
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