When Should You Cover the Brake

The desire of every road user or automobile driver is to avoid any unforeseen or unfavorable encounter. Accidents occur in different ways, whether it involves an individual, animal, or structure is knocked down. So, whether you are a car or motorcycle rider, it is essential to cover your brake.

Brake covering is relevant and involves a way of ensuring the braking functions in an abrupt stop instead of a slow or gradual way. 

What Does Covering the Brake Mean?

Covering the brake differs according to the type of automobile being used. When driving a motorcycle, covering the brake involves holding your hand over the brake. When driving a car, to cover the brake means removing your right foot from the accelerator and placing it on the brake. The foot is just made to rest or hover around the brake pedal without actually resting or engaging it.

However, the brake is not the only part of the vehicle that can be covered. Covering the brake and clutch is possible by taking out one's feet from the accelerator, bringing the car to a slow stop by applying the brake or changing the gear to a lower one.

What is Covering the Brake Technique?

The best covering the brake technique is to place your foot on the brake as you approach a cross-section, traffic, etc. You do not want to step on the brake in shock and fear. Using this technique also makes it easy for you to switch from acceleration to braking in a short time.

What are the Benefits of Covering a Brake?

  • It increases the reaction time to braking.
  • It provides a more comfortable and safe driving experience.
  • Makes it safe to change from the acceleration phase to the braking phase
  • It reduces speed.

How do You Cover the Brake of a Motorcycle?

Though most experts are against covering the brake of a motorcycle because it brings about the consciousness of danger, however, covering the brake of a bike is essential and safe. You can cover the brake of your motorcycle by placing two fingers on the brake and the other fingers on the throttle. This method is safe, but some bike instructors find it unsafe.

Also, some bikes come with the option where you need to pull the brake lever to the throttle before they respond to braking. And holding some fingers to the throttle won't allow you to do that. But the brake levers can be adjusted to fit the usage of two fingers, or you can go ahead and use all fingers.

When should You Cover the Brake?

There are several scenarios where you can cover the brake of your car. Some of them include:

1. When Driving by Parked Cars

This is an everyday encounter, and to avoid any form of unpleasant disruption, you have to become careful. However, brake covering is helpful as it ensures proper maintenance and safety. When driving, it is advised to drive at a distance of at least a car door away from another vehicle.

2. In Slippery Road

When driving on a slippery road, you have to be careful because it requires a lot of skill. However, driving under such circumstances requires you to cover your brake as it will enable you to stop when you feel like your tire is slippery or has less surface grip.

3. Crowded Area

In some cases, when driving through crowded areas or a rally spot, a lot of people may walk in front of your car suddenly. This needs you to cover your brake to avoid hitting any person.

4. When Driving on a Country Road

When going by a country road, one needs to drive with a lot of care and focus. The streets are usually quiet and bumpy. Also, it is easy to encounter stray animals as they are likely to run suddenly across the road. In such conditions, covering the brake can be very helpful.

5. During Traffic

When going through heavy traffic, to avoid bumping into any car, it is advised to cover the brake.

6. On Sight of an Erratic Driver

When you see a rough driver or one behaving uncertainty, engage the brake cover. 

7. When the brake light of a nearby car is on

This is another basis where you can cover your brake. Driving near a car with their brake light on is a frequent scenario as it can protect you from any unpleasant accident.

Covering the Brake :: An Essential Road Test Skill

When Should You Cover the Brake FAQs

What should you avoid doing when covering the brake?

When covering the brake, it is advised not to pedal the brake or ride it. However, hover your feet around them a little.

Is covering the brake the same as riding the brake?

Riding the brake is a process of placing one's feet on the back brake or placing their hand on the lever of the front brake and putting a little effort. On the other hand, the brake cover involves placing one's foot or hand on the brake pedal after the accelerator.

Why is covering the brake with your foot important when you're backing out of any parking space?

When coming out from a parking lot, it is essential to cover your brake to stop the car from rolling into another car or traffic.

Is it okay to cover the front of a motorcycle brake?

Yes, brake covering can be done for all automobiles as it helps to reduce bumps and unexpected clashes.

Do you have to shift down when braking?

When braking, one of the right methods to reduce your car is to downshift. This is done by removing your right feet from the brake, step on the clutch with your left feet and bring down the gear. 

What is the total stopping distance of automobiles?

The stopping distance of any motorized transport is dependent on various factors. It is a combination of the mental processing time, physical reaction time, and the vehicle reaction time.

The mental processing time involves the time it takes for a person to know that they need to react to something. An example is when an individual sees a car reversing and decides whether they need to brake or not.

Physical reaction time involves the time it takes for the individual to react to the present event physically.

The vehicle reaction time is the response time of the vehicle to the action applied to it. That is the time it takes for it to stop after the brake is activated. 


As much as we like to maintain safety as we drive, we also have to be aware of the challenges and encounters we will face as we embark on these journeys. Covering the brake helps you avoid unpleasant road disruption and provides you with a safe driving experience as you drive.

It also gives you a smooth riding experience in crowds, traffic, and other conditions that require fast braking action as it helps bring the car to a stop within small distances.


John D. Archer is a mechanical engineer and writer based on the area of automotive accessories at brakeshub.com, A resident expert and professional, John is passionate about all things automotive and loves to share his knowledge. He has good experience in all kind of automotive accessories. He has worked as a chief mechanical engineer in some reputed automotive garage firm.

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