hit the brakes

hit the brakes

1. To quickly engage a vehicle's brakes to slow down or stop. He hit the brakes when he saw the child running into the street.
2. By extension, to slow down or stop something one is doing. We had to hit the brakes on development when we found out the investors were pulling out.
See also: brake, hit
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

hit the brakes

 
1. Lit. to step on a vehicle's brakes hard and fast. I came around the curve too fast and had to hit the brakes immediately.
2. Fig. to stop [something]. The project seemed to be getting nowhere so we hit the brakes before too much more money was spent.
See also: brake, hit
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
After noticing the speeding truck, the driver of the Honda hit the brakes and swerved his car to avoid the truck.
Hamilton was within half-a-second of the Ferrari car, and as Vettel re-joined the track at the ensuing corner, Hamilton, pushed up against the concrete wall, was forced to hit the brakes to avoid a collision.
Ryan, however, abruptly hit the brakes when someone suddenly crossed the street.
Hou told police that he accidentally stepped on the accelerator pedal when he had actually intended to hit the brakes when on a steep incline.
Railway officials said when the train reached near the underpass outside Gojra railway station, the driver heard a loud noise emanating from compartment No 2, so he immediately hit the brakes.
Cantado apparently had not noticed the uncut log that was protruding from the trailer truck when he hit the brakes, according to case prober Senior Police Officer 1 Hannibal Parintildeas.
Texans want to hit the brakes on immigration, UT/TT Poll finds
THE father of a seven-year-old boy who remains in hospital with a skull fracture after being involved in a hit-and-run has said the driver "didn't even hit the brakes".
They just hit the brakes and do what's best for the whole country.
Don't increase your steering angle or hit the brakes, as this will only make it worse.
The driver hit the brakes as she failed to get up the hill in wintry conditions then slipped backwards towards a steep drop, where there was no protective barrier.
Unfortunately, for Theresa May and her band of Tory cronies, this isn't enough to hit the brakes.
The train's driver hit the brakes, but was unable to prevent the collision.
After he was told that he would be investigated for attempted murder, the suspect reportedly denied that he had tried to hit the officer with his car, and said he had hit the brakes trying to avoid her, as she was standing in the middle of the street.