Why do my brake lights stay on while I’m driving?

I noticed my brake lights have been staying on when I’m driving, even if I'm not stepping on the brakes. Is there something wrong with them?

Tiffany Leung · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
It can be scary when you’re not sure if something is wrong with your car that’s causing the brake lights to stay on!
The good news is most of the time it’s an easy fix. The most common reasons that cause your brake lights to stay on are below:
  • Faulty brake light switch—when the wires wear down it could cause a faulty connection causing the switch to stay on. You can check this by disconnecting the battery (for safety!) before disconnecting the brake switch to inspect the connection.
  • Brake pedal is stuck—dirt and debris can cause the brake switch to be stuck and cause the brake light to stay on. If the brake pedals aren’t aligned with the switch or there’s a defective rubber stopper, the brakes could also get stuck.
  • Parking brake engaged—sometimes the issue is simply the parking brake not being fully disengaged, causing the brake lights to stay on.
While you can DIY and attempt to fix the brake lights, not knowing the proper procedures can cause more harm than good. We recommend getting your car checked at a shop anyway to ensure it’s not any serious and for peace of mind.
That being said, repairs can get costly. Having the right insurance coverage would help offset the costs. Signing up with
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Jerry partners with more than 50 insurance companies, but our content is independently researched, written, and fact-checked by our team of editors and agents. We aren’t paid for reviews or other content.

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