The anti-lock braking system, also known as ABS, comes as a standard safety feature in all modern vehicles. An anti-lock braking system is an important safety feature, in the event, you have to apply excessive pressure to the brakes, (during an emergency stop for example), the ABS stops the wheels from locking and helps them stay gripped to the road surface.
How does an anti-lock braking system work?
ABS is a component of the vehicles overall stability system; each wheel has a sensor which is used to monitor the wheels during heavy braking. If these sensors detect that the wheel is about to lock during braking, the system will automatically release the brake for a short moment. ABS will then continuously pump the brake for you at the optimum pressure while your foot is still on the brake, this will prevent the wheels from locking.
When the ABS is active, you may feel a pulsing sensation through the brake pedal as you're pressing it. A common misconception is that the ABS reduced stopping distance; however, ABS may, in fact, increase stopping distance.
What are the benefits of having a car with ABS?
- ABS improves the overall safety of a vehicle which is why they are now a standard feature on all cars produced in Europe
- ABS reduces the risk of a frontal collision on dry and wet roads
- Cars fitted with ABS are less likely to be involved in a fatal collision
What if my car doesn't have ABS?
If you have an older vehicle, it may not be fitted with an anti-lock braking system. In this case, you will need to be able to spot the signs that your car is about to skid and pump the brake manually by rapidly pressing and releasing your foot on the brake pedal. You can easily tell if your vehicle is fitted with an ABS by looking for the amber ABS sign or looking in the vehicles user manual.