When to use handbrake?

The handbrake, also known as the parking brake or emergency brake, is a crucial component of a vehicle’s braking system. It’s used for specific purposes and in various situations. Here’s when you should use the handbrake:


Parking on an incline: When parking on a hill or incline, engage the handbrake to prevent your vehicle from rolling downhill. This is especially important if you’re parking for an extended period or if the vehicle’s transmission is in neutral or park.

Manual transmission: In vehicles with manual transmissions, it’s a good practice to engage the handbrake whenever you park, regardless of whether you’re on a flat surface or an incline. This adds an extra layer of security and prevents the vehicle from rolling.

Female driver with black manual handheld

Automatic transmission: In automatic transmission vehicles, the handbrake is not always necessary when parking on flat ground, as the transmission’s “Park” position locks the wheels. However, using the handbrake in addition to putting the transmission in “Park” can provide extra security, especially on steep inclines.

Emergency situations: If you experience brake failure or any other emergency situation where the primary braking system fails to stop the vehicle, you can use the handbrake to slow down and stop the vehicle gradually. However, this should be done with caution, as it may lead to loss of control if not executed properly.

Manual release: Some vehicles require you to engage the handbrake before releasing it from “Park” or “Neutral.” In such cases, you should always use the handbrake to prevent any strain on the transmission.

Loading and unloading: When loading or unloading passengers or cargo, using the handbrake can ensure that the vehicle remains stationary and doesn’t move unexpectedly.

Towing: When towing a trailer or another vehicle, it’s essential to use the handbrake on the towed vehicle to prevent it from moving while you’re connecting or disconnecting it.