Possible Shasta Brake Failure Hospitalizes Three
I’m Ed Smith, a Shasta Lake Car Accident Lawyer. A Dodge van crashed after running off the highway Saturday, June 24 in eastern Shasta County. Three people were hospitalized as a result and the accident is still under investigation.
Three people were traveling around 8 p.m. Saturday evening in a Dodge van where Highway 89 and 44 intersect. The vehicle left the asphalt and ran into a ditch. All of the passengers sustained serious head injuries. A possible roll-over occurred as the van hit the ditch because the entire roof of the vehicle was stripped off. During the investigation, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) recorded statements from witnesses. Some witnesses described the car accident to appear to have been caused by brake failure in the Dodge Van.
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection were the first to respond to the scene of the crash. The victims’ head injuries were deemed severe enough that all three needed to be taken to a hospital as quick as possible. Two helicopters were dispatched to pick up the injured victims of the car accident and airlift them to a hospital where they are being treated for life-threatening injuries.
How did this Happen?
Brake failure is not a common occurrence, but can easily lead to a car accident. To prevent a crash under this stressful and scary situation, here are some steps from defensivedriving.com that may save your life:
1. Maintain your vehicle
Proper care and maintenance is the most important thing you can do to prevent brake failure. Check brake fluid levels on a regular basis, losing power to your brakes makes them a lot harder to engage, and can be dangerous if you are not expecting it. Make sure your brake pads have enough life in them. Every time we apply the brakes on our vehicles, a tiny amount of thickness rubs off the brake pads. If they get too thin their stopping ability is greatly reduced.
Even with a properly maintained vehicle, parts may fail, or brakes can get too hot to work properly and you may find yourself in a situation where you are driving without brakes. In this situation, the first thing to do is shift into a lower gear. Downshifting will cause the engine’s RPMs to increase and the engine compression will slow you down. When the RPMs drop as you decrease in speed, downshift again and repeat the process until you are at a safe speed. During this time you should be aware of all obstacles in the road and steer to avoid them while making your way to the side of the road. Deploy your hazard lights to let other drivers know something is wrong.
3. Pump the brakes
While downshifting to slow the vehicle, pump the brake pedal hard and fast. This can build pressure in the hydraulic system and help you come to stop or regain function in the brakes.
4. Apply parking brake
If the brakes do not return after pumping them, continue to slow the car with downshifting and then apply the parking brake slowly. If deployed too fast, the back wheels can lock up and send the vehicle into a skid or spin.
Here are some other articles I have written about brake failure:
Shasta Car Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Shasta Lake Car Accident Lawyer. If you or someone you care about have received injuries from a car accident, please call me at 530-392-9400 or 800-404-5400 for friendly and free advice.
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Image Source: By Treemonster86 – Wikimedia Commons
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