When we're driving down the road, we expect our brakes to work any time we need them. Since we press the brake pedal so frequently, it's easy to forget just how many points of failure are contained within this complex system.
As with any other part of your car, you can't take your brakes for granted. They require regular attention and maintenance along with everything else. Most importantly, they need to be properly tested from the beginning to ensure that they are free of defects.
Under normal circumstances, brake pads and shoes age. Hydraulic systems have limited life spans. You may see warning signs in the form of strange noises, or less stopping capacity. But some problems can also strike without warning.
"Like any other part of your car, you can't take your brakes for granted."
In fact, while statistics show that most accidents are caused by driver error, intoxication or weather conditions – or some combination of the three – mechanical failures still pose a small, but noticeable threat.
In a study of car accidents occurring between 2005 and 2007, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration took a sample of crashes and calculated that about 6.8 percent were caused by a deficiency in the vehicle itself. Brake issues were one of the main causes.
It's dangerous to be involved in an accident caused by a failed brake system. You could easily harm or kill yourself or others around you. You could also cause damage to nearby structures if your out-of-control vehicle strikes them. Plus, even if no one is seriously injured in the accident, you could face legal liability if it is discovered that you were driving with some knowledge of a potential brake problem. Even the fact that you started driving with the brake warning light on could land you in trouble.
While not every faulty brake component can be prevented, vehicle testing services can catch defects before they are able to present a threat.