In cars with traditional braking systems, the wheels are prone to locking when the brakes are applied firmly and suddenly. This can be dangerous, especially on wet or icy roads, as it can make the vehicle more likely to skid or spin out of control. To combat this risk, most modern cars are equipped with an anti-lock braking system, or ABS.
Read on to learn more about how ABS works and how it benefits drivers, as well as some potential drawbacks.
How does ABS work?
ABS was added to cars to improve vehicle safety and reduce the incidence of traffic accidents. The way it works is by recognizing when a wheel is about to lock as a result of harsh braking. Using a hydraulic system, pressure will then be taken off the wheel or wheels that are about to lock, preventing it from locking. The pressure is then reapplied immediately to maintain the effect of braking.
This means that the driver can consistently apply pressure on the brake without worrying about the wheels locking. A similar result can be achieved through a technique called cadence braking, where the driver presses and releases the brake pedal repeatedly, but this requires a lot of skill and experience.
The benefits of ABS
There are a number of benefits of anti-lock brakes, including:
- Shorter stopping distances – If you suddenly have to stop to avoid a collision, for example, then ABS can help reduce the time and distance taken to come to a standstill. This is especially beneficial on slippery road surfaces.
- Greater control – Skidding or losing control of your vehicle are risks when driving on wet or icy roads. ABS grants you greater control over your vehicle and better traction between your tires and the road.
- Fewer accidents – Both of the above advantages result in lower chances of getting into a road accident, making the road a safer place for you and everyone else.
- Lower premiums – Beyond the safety benefits, ABS can also save you money by lowering your insurance costs. Because having ABS fitted makes you less likely to get into an accident, most insurance companies offer lower-priced premiums because of it.
Despite its benefits, not every driver is a fan of ABS. The most skilled drivers especially don’t feel the need for it because they may be able to stop quicker without ABS fitted by expertly applying cadence braking. ABS technology can also make it more difficult to drive in certain conditions, particularly through snow or gravel.
Overall, ABS helps to increase road safety. If your car is fitted with ABS, make sure it undergoes regular maintenance to keep it in proper working order. For ABS and auto repair in Winston Salem and the surrounding Piedmont Triad, get in touch with us here.