How Often Do Brakes Fail? Surprising Facts Revealed

Brake failure is a common issue that affects a significant number of vehicles on the road. In fact, according to recent statistics, brake failure accounts for approximately 22% of all car accidents.

While this may seem alarming, there are steps that drivers can take to prevent brake failure and keep their vehicles safe on the road. Proper maintenance and routine inspections of brake components can help identify any potential issues before they become a major problem.

Additionally, drivers should pay attention to warning signs such as squeaking or grinding noises when braking, as these could indicate a problem with the brakes. By taking proactive steps to maintain and inspect their brakes, drivers can reduce the risk of brake failure and keep themselves and others safe on the road.

How Often Do Brakes Fail? Surprising Facts Revealed


Common Causes Of Brake Failure

Brake failure can be a scary and dangerous experience, resulting in accidents and injuries. But how common is it for brakes to fail? In this post, we will focus on the common causes of brake failure, including overheating of the brake system, worn-out brake pads, lack of brake maintenance, and malfunctioning brake system components.

Overheating Of Brake System

Heat is a significant cause of brake failure. Excessive heat can affect the braking system, leading to a drop in braking performance. The following are some of the reasons why brakes overheat:

  • Overuse of brakes
  • Continuous driving on steep slopes
  • Braking at high speeds

Worn Out Brake Pads

The brake pads are critical components of the braking system. They are responsible for stopping the vehicle by pressing against the rotors. Over time, the brake pads wear out due to friction and constant use. The following are some signs that brake pads are worn out:

  • A high-pitched noise when applying the brakes
  • A grinding noise when applying the brakes
  • Reduced braking performance

Lack Of Brake Maintenance

Regular brake maintenance is crucial to ensure high performance and increase the lifespan of the braking system. Failing to inspect, maintain, and repair the brake system can lead to brake failure. The following are some maintenance tips:

  • Periodic inspection of brake system components
  • Replacement of worn-out brake pads and discs
  • Flushing and replacement of brake fluid every two years

Malfunctioning Brake System Components

The braking system comprises various components such as brake lines, calipers, and master cylinders. If any of these components fail, the braking system will not function correctly, leading to brake failure. The following are some brake system component failures:

  • Failed brake lines leading to fluid leaks
  • Sticking calipers causing brake drag
  • A malfunctioning master cylinder leading to brake loss

Ensuring that the braking system is in good condition is crucial for maintaining safe driving. Overheating of brakes, worn-out brake pads, lack of brake maintenance, and malfunctioning brake system components are common causes of brake failure. Regular brake maintenance, inspection, and replacement of worn-out parts can decrease the likelihood of brake failure.

Statistics About Brake Failure

Brake failure is a significant concern for car owners. It can cause accidents, injuries, and even fatalities. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at some statistics about brake failure in the united states.

Annual Brake Failure Rates In The United States

  • According to the national highway traffic safety administration (nhtsa), the brake failure rate for passenger cars is about 5%.
  • The brake failure rate for trucks and buses is slightly higher, at around 7%.
  • From 2014-2018, there were 126,000 accidents caused by brake failure, resulting in over 44,000 injuries and 259 fatalities.
  • The most common cause of brake failure is worn brake pads, which account for about 25% of brake-related accidents.

Percentage Of Accidents Caused By Brake Failure

  • Brake failure is responsible for about 22% of all vehicle accidents.
  • In accidents caused by brake failure, about 45% of drivers do not attempt to use their emergency brakes.
  • In about 40% of brake-related accidents, the driver knew about the problem beforehand but did not take corrective action.

Comparison Of Brake Failure Rates Among Different Vehicle Brands

  • Some vehicle brands have a higher brake failure rate than others. According to consumer reports, the top 5 brands with the lowest brake failure rates are lexus, porsche, toyota, subaru, and audi.
  • On the other hand, the top 5 brands with the highest brake failure rates are tesla, bmw, mercedes-benz, volvo, and cadillac.

Common Misconceptions About Brake Failure Rates

  • One common misconception about brake failure is that it only happens to older cars. However, brake failure can happen in cars of any age.
  • Another misconception is that brake failure is always accompanied by a loss of brake pedal. In some cases, the pedal may be firm, but the brakes are still not working correctly.

Brake failure is a serious safety issue that should not be taken lightly. Keeping up with regular maintenance and inspections can help prevent accidents caused by brake failure.

Tips For Preventing Brake Failure

How Common Is It For Brakes To Fail?

As a driver, there’s nothing scarier than having your brakes fail, and it’s a fear that’s not unfounded. While brake failure can occur due to a variety of reasons, it’s not an uncommon occurrence. Therefore, it’s essential to learn how to prevent brake failure to ensure your safety on the road.

Regular Brake Maintenance

Regular maintenance is essential for keeping your car’s brakes working correctly. Here’s what you can do to maintain your brakes:

  • Have them checked regularly by a professional mechanic
  • Change your brake pads whenever necessary
  • Replace your brake fluid regularly

Signs To Look For In A Failing Brake System

There are several signs that you may notice if your car’s brake system is failing. Here are some things to look for:

  • Longer stopping distances: If your brakes take longer to stop your vehicle, you should have them checked.
  • Grinding sounds: If you hear any grinding noises whenever you use your brakes, it may mean your brake pads are worn out.
  • Warning lights: If your brake warning light turns on, you should check your brakes immediately.

Importance Of Proper Braking Techniques

Sometimes, brake failure can be caused by improper braking techniques. Therefore, it’s crucial to learn how to brake correctly to avoid putting undue stress on your brakes. Here are some tips:

  • Brake gradually instead of slamming on the brakes
  • Brake before entering a curve instead of when you’re already turning
  • Avoid braking and accelerating simultaneously

Role Of The Driver In Preventing Brake Failure

As a driver, you play a significant role in preventing brake failure. Here are some things you can do to ensure your brakes stay in good condition:

  • Avoid overloading your vehicle, which puts additional stress on your brakes
  • In hilly areas, use your engine to reduce the stress on your brakes
  • Avoid heavy stop-and-go traffic as much as possible.

Preventing brake failure is essential for your safety on the road. Regular maintenance, knowing the signs of failing brakes, using proper braking techniques, and being a responsible driver can go a long way in keeping your brakes in good condition.

Stay safe!

Frequently Asked Questions On How Common Is It For Brakes To Fail?

Faq 1: What Are The Symptoms Of Failing Brakes?

Signs of failing brakes include screeching sounds, a spongy brake pedal, vibration, or longer stopping distances.

Faq 2: What Causes Brakes To Fail?

Brakes can fail due to worn-out brake pads, fluid leaks, malfunctioning brake lines, or hardware issues.

Faq 3: How Often Should Brakes Be Checked?

Brakes should be checked every 6,000 miles or every six months, whichever comes first.

Faq 4: Can Failing Brakes Be Prevented?

Yes, regular brake maintenance such as pad replacement and fluid changes can help prevent brake failure. Additionally, avoid riding brakes and driving aggressively.


The failure of brakes is a serious issue that should not be taken lightly. While it is not a common occurrence, it is essential to take all necessary precautions to ensure your vehicle’s safety. Regular maintenance and inspection of your brakes can significantly reduce the risk of brake failure.

Additionally, it is crucial to avoid risky driving behaviors such as tailgating, speeding, and distracted driving. It is also essential to keep an eye out for any warning signs of brake issues, such as squeaking or grinding sounds when using the brakes, vibrations, or a soft brake pedal.

If you notice any of these signs, take your vehicle to a reliable mechanic immediately. Investing time and effort in maintaining your brakes and driving safely can go a long way in preventing brake failure and protecting yourself and others on the road.

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