Brake Abuse: Why You Shouldn’t Slam Your Brakes

Try to avoid slamming your brakes uncessarily, both as a general motorist and as a trucker.

Slamming your brakes in a commercial truck can have devastating consequences. It is necessary for drivers to attempt to avoid situations that would give rise to the need to slam down on their brakes. Continue reading to hear what we have to say on the matter.


Heavy Loads:

If you happen to drive with a flatbed trailer, you need to be careful of sudden stops. Although drivers are expected to tie down their cargo, the force of a sudden stop could propel the heavy load forward. There have been instances where heavy cargo has actually slammed directly into the sleeper cab behind the driver. Not only is the damage costly, but the incident also has the potential to kill the driver.

Prevent Jackknives:

Jackknives occur when the trailer swivels on the fifth wheel and causes a loss of control. The cab of the truck and the trailer often swing towards each other which is difficult  to recover from. One way that you can prevent a jackknife is to avoid slamming on your breaks. This action can cause the brake system to lock up on you. Also, always try to keep your trailer as straight as possible when braking and monitor your brakes carefully on steep inclines.


Watch the Weather:

If the road conditions are less than favorable, you should slow down. When the roads are icy or wet, your traction is lessened. This makes it easier for your truck to skid and lose control. Drive slower in unfavorable conditions and try to tap your brakes in order to come to a gradual stop. In order to do this, you must start braking sooner so that you leave enough space between you and other motorists.



Always make sure that your truck has good tires on it. You don’t want to drive on bald tires because they lack an ability to properly grip the road. Keep in mind that slamming your brakes can potentially damage your tires, causing flat-spotting. The area of your tire that was against the road will experience more heat and stress than the rest of the tire and cause them to have uneven wear. Also be sure that you maintain your brake system and perform routine pre-trip inspections on all necessary components.



Trucks slamming down on their brakes unexpectedly can cause major pile-ups. Not only can the truck lose control and swerve across lanes, but vehicles behind the truck can also slam into the trailer and one another. In order to prevent this, professional drivers need to be aware of potential stop signs, traffic lights, and blockages that could be coming up. Because trucks are heavier than typical vehicles, they need longer distances to come to a complete stop safely.

The same rule of thumb applies to motorists, but brake-checking is still a common component of road rage. If cars feel as though they are being followed closely, they slam on their brakes to aggressively assert their need for space. Unfortunately, this action causes accidents and unnecessary injuries. Truck drivers need to maintain a safe distance between themselves and other vehicles and they also need to drive defensively. If you ever see a motorist acting aggressively, back off if possible and let them be on their way. Getting angry and losing your ability to think rationally will only escalate the situation. Many truckers have chosen to invest in continuous recording devices because the footage has exonerated drivers who have been brake-checked in the past.


The #1 goal of every driver on the road should be safety. It is important that truck drivers learn the ins and outs of braking properly in order to prevent unnecessary accidents or damage to their rigs.

We are open M-F 8-5 and Saturdays 9-1. Stop on by and visit us! Our lot is located at 26 Truck Tech Way in Shippensburg, PA.


Thanks for reading!

Truck Mart LLC


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