All cars have an emergency brake, whether it's a manual handbrake or a modern electric push-button. If you had a look around, you might find that a lot of new models in showrooms today have an electric handbrake, which has led some people to suggest that a manual handbrake is becoming a redundant feature in the new car market.

What Is An Electric Park Brake?

The electronic parking brake (EPB) is becoming increasingly more common in new cars as car manufacturers constantly strive to make driving as easy as possible, replacing the traditional lever with a button. An EPB is an electronic system, so instead of physically applying the handbrake lever, the driver presses the switch or button which sends an electronic signal to a servo that’s remotely connected to the brake.

Are Electronic Handbrakes Safer Than Manual Handbrakes?

On most cars with electronic parking brakes, the brakes are released automatically as soon as you try to drive off. Electronic parking brakes with 'auto-hold’ enable the brakes to be applied in an emergency. A lot of people would consider this a safer system.

Advantages of Electronic Parking Brakes Some of the advantages of EPB’s are:

  1. They don’t carry the risk manual handbrakes do of not being set firmly enough when people park on steep hills.
  2. You have the ease of engaging and disengaging them with much less effort, and most systems will release automatically if you pull away without turning them off.
  3. They free up space for storage in the centre console.
  4. They can also be used as a backup system in the event of your hydraulic brakes failing. If you were to stand on the brakes of your vehicle and find nothing happens, activating the EPB while moving will gradually brake the rear wheels safely using the ABS.

Are Electric Handbrakes The Way Forward?

If you want your driving experience to be as simple, reliable, and convenient as possible, an electronic park brake seems to be your best option. Take the example of electric windows, air conditioning, and parking sensors: once you have had them you would be reluctant to go without them, even if you didn’t think they were essentials at first.