A dream about forgetting to deploy the backup brake pads

I dreamed that that I was driving through a parking garage when my brakes suddenly failed. I tried executing turns to bleed off speed, but it was largely ineffective. I managed to avoid hitting a parked police car (which had arrived to investigate some other accident), but was unable to avoid another parked car.

An insurance adjuster who was on the scene for the first accident looked at my car and discovered that my primary brake pads were completely missing, so the calipers were grabbing air. And in my panic, it never occurred to me to use my left foot to push the button which hot-installs the secondary brake pads. (Yes, this makes no sense. It's a dream, remember?)

I tried to order replacement pads from Amazon.com, but it insisted on ordering them for the virtual car in my account rather than the actual car that had the accident.

Also, true dream fact: Brake pads are made of Styrofoam. ("Well, there's your problem.")

Comments (15)
  1. 12BitSlab says:

    re: stopping without brakes — there's an app for that…

  2. Nick says:

    "true dream fact" *rofl* I love your writing style.

  3. steven says:

    Outside of dreams, but still in the realm of fantasy, TV/movie characters that have their brakes fail seem to forget that there is also a handbrake, simply letting go of the accelerator and downshifting also helps you slow down and finally, so does turning off the engine. I seem to recall there's even an episode of the 1990's Superman TV show where this is spoofed, Superman flying in, landing on the passenger seat and simply turning the engine off.

  4. "…helps you slow down and finally, so does turning off the engine."

    In before someone with a locking steering wheel tries that and causes an accident.

  5. cheong00 says:

    @Blacgwolf: Agreed. Power steering will stop to function as soon as you switch off the engine, making you impossible to turn. Always make sure you have plenty of space ahead when you need to choose this path.

  6. Dave says:

    >there is also a handbrake

    As any number of female drivers have discovered, you can drive quite some distance with the handbrake on.  It's to stop the car from rolling, not to stop it period.

  7. Dave says:

    OK, OK, I was joking :-).  It'll wear out your rear brake pads (which is what the handbrake engages) and, depending on how far/fast/whatever you drove, may cause heat-related problems on brake rotors, rubber seals on caliper mounts, etc, depending on the type of brake and car.

  8. Gabe says:

    From my first car, I learned many things. One is that power steering is only really necessary in parking situations. Another is that the parking brake is really only useful in parking situations. You can drive quite normally with the parking brake engaged, but engaging the parking brake while driving will simply lock up the wheels and make you slide.

    Also, I learned that the steering wheel locks only when you put the key in the position where you can remove it from the ignition. You can drive downhill easily without ignition or power steering, but your service brakes will be harder to use without the power.

  9. Jerome says:

    Last year I didn't get around to changing my brake pads until it was too late; so for a while I had no brakes. The hand-brake works fine when used in combination with gearing down – if you have a manual transmission. Actually the gearing thing has become a habit – at least it saves wear on the brakes now. Oh, and once you master sliding around corners, it's always a cool way to scare passengers.

  10. JK says:

    @Dave any number of male drivers have discovered this too

  11. Neil says:

    I can't wait to see Jerome's gearbox bill.

  12. Evan says:

    @Dave: "As any number of female [sic :-)] drivers have discovered, you can drive quite some distance with the handbrake on."

    The obligatory quote regarding this, of course, is from Mitch Hedberg:

    "I rent a lot of cars, but I don't always know everything about them. So a lot of times, I drive for like ten miles with the emergency brake on. That doesn't say a lot for me, but it really doesn't say a lot for the emergency brake. It's really not an emergency brake; it's an emergency 'make the car smell funny' lever."

  13. mikeb says:

    Why are you people still giving the engine gas when you're trying to stop using the emergency brake?

  14. Brian_EE says:

    @Cheong00: It is not impossible to turn without power-assisted steering. It just requires more upper body strength than a flea.

  15. Raymond, you have a pretty detailed subconscious.

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