Full braking: the right way to do it
Even with assistant system: Drivers should apply brakes fully in emergency situation
Even in cars with electronic emergency brake assistant systems, drivers must apply the brakes fully themselves in an emergency to reduce speed as much as possible. “During our driver training courses, we repeatedly hear the view that the emergency brake assistant will take over braking completely in an emergency. This is a misconception that can have devastating consequences under certain circumstances”, warns Reinhard Buchsdrücker, driving instructor with the expert organization DEKRA in Germany.
- Electronic systems by no means make active braking pointless
- In an emergency, depress and hold the brake pedal with full force
- Recommendation: Practice emergency braking once a year
“In emergencies, the following therefore applies to all vehicles, whether with or without emergency brake assist: if an accident is imminent, immediately step on the brakes with full force and keep up this pressure until the end”, Buchsdrücker emphasizes. “And while doing so, hold the steering wheel well with both hands and swerve if necessary. Everything else can be left to the built-in ABS.” The vibration of the pedal is normal, so drivers should not let themselves be confused by it. When the emergency situation eases, brake pressure can be reduced.
“In an emergency situation, drivers must be able to call up the correct reaction within fractions of a second and be aware of the vehicle's reaction”, explains the driving coach. “They can only do that if they have practiced the correct behavior.” Therefore, it is necessary to practice emergency braking on a suitable terrain at least once a year. If one uses an unfamiliar vehicle, e.g., a rental car or a car-sharing vehicle, test braking at the beginning of the trip should be just as standard as familiarizing oneself with controls and assistance systems before setting off. “In addition, driver safety training is strongly recommended every two years.”