1. When braking normally be progressive – start off light then squeeze harder, but just before you stop ease off again ( not all the way) ‘squeeze and ease’.
  2. Know what kind of braking system your car has. ABS – anti locking braking system is shown on the dash lights when you turn on your ignition. Look for a yellow/amber circle with ABS inside it. If don’t have this light you have standard brakes and in an emergency need to respond differently.
  3. The 3 S’s of an emergency stop in a car with ABS 1 STOMP on the brakes – as hard as you can – the ABS system will kick off and start whining and you will feel a pulsing feeling in your brake pedal so 2. STAY on the brakes – the kickback is normal so don’t freak out – stay on those brakes. 3 Look where you want to go – not at the vehicle or person who is in front of you – look for an escape route – somewhere that there is clear space and STEER out of trouble. ABS won’t necessarily stop you faster in a straight line but it gives you the ability to steer the vehicle out of danger. You will go where you are looking so look for safe spaces.
  4. Car with no ABS, be quick and progressive, get on those brakes fast and progressively harder. If you just stomp on your brakes they may lock up especially in the wet. If you hear a skid begin or feel it by lightened steering, then come off the brakes and the quickly pump them back down – in effect you can become your own ABS. The more slippery it is the faster you will pump the brakes.
  5. I’ve said this before and will say it again don’t ever outdrive your ability to safely and comfortably stop on your side of the road. SO keep the 2 second rule (4 seconds if wet) , scan well ahead of that ( as far as you can see) and respond early to changes in traffic ahead.
  6. If you have a manual( geared) vehicle don’t put the clutch down until the last possible second, that way you get the benefit of engine braking ( as the engine slows down when you release the gas pedal it will help slow the vehicle) and in what seems like an opposing argument the engine ( even at tick over speed) will help keep the wheels turning so you are less likely to skid. This is especially important if you don’t have ABS.