Your Parking Brake Is More Than Just Decoration

Car accident lawyers in Bay County, FL are used to vehicle accidents. Usually, there is a driver in one of the vehicles who is at fault. Sometimes, no one is at fault but the accident happens all the same. Even more rarely, however, is an accident where one of the cars had no driver at all. That may sound strange, but this can happen if a driver parks his or her car without using the parking brake.

Almost every parent teaches his or her teenager to use the parking brake every time. Pretty much every Drivers Ed course does the same. So, why is it that not everyone uses it? In a nutshell, it is the prevalence of automatic transmission vehicles. In a manual transmission, it is easy to knock the car out of park. None of the wheels are locked, so any hard knock to the car can send it rolling. Heck, if the clutch is worn out such a vehicle could easily roll if parked on a hill.

Automatic transmission vehicles, however, automatically lock two of the wheels when the car is in park. Because of this, car accident lawyers in Bay County, FL see very few accidents where a car rolls because the parking brake wasn’t engaged. Even on a hill, these vehicles are unlikely to ever roll. Many drivers have convinced themselves that there is no need for the parking brake at all if they are driving an automatic vehicle.

Now, don’t take this as an excuse for not using your parking brake every time you park. Just because you parked on a flat surface doesn’t mean that you can skip that brake. On a manual transmission it’s not safe because if something hits the vehicle, it could roll much more easily than on an automatic vehicle and you’d be liable. But even on an automatic, car accident lawyers see first-hand the very important reasons to keep that parking brake on.

The phrase “use it or lose it” is very applicable here. When the parking brake isn’t used frequently, the cables can corrode over time and get stuck or even break. The brake is needed for parking on a hill, but they are used so infrequently that they fail right when you need them most.

Another potential risk of using the parking brake infrequently is forgetting that you used it. Believe it or not, a car will drive with the parking brake engaged. Unfortunately, it can cause massive damage to the vehicle, leaving you with huge repair costs. So, staying in the habit of always using the brake can keep you from accidentally leaving it on while driving.

Bay County, FL car accident lawyers know that if your car rolls and you didn’t use a parking brake, you may be held liable for any damages. So, instead of trying to remember when to use a parking brake, do yourself a favor and use it each and every time. It will be better for your braking system, better on your memory, and can reduce the risk of an accident.


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