2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual For example, if your "safe" speed is 40 mph, you would not apply the brakes until your speed reaches 40 mph. You now apply the brakes hard enough to gradually reduce your speed to 35 mph and then release the brakes. Repeat this as often as necessary until you have reached the end of the downgrade. Escape ramps have been built on many steep mountain downgrades. Escape ramps are made to stop runaway vehicles safely without injuring drivers and passengers. Escape ramps use along bed of loose, soft material to slow a runaway vehicle, sometimes in combination with an upgrade. Know escape ramp locations on your route. Signs show drivers where ramp are located. Escape ramps save lives, equipment and cargo.