What is: Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)

Possibly the most common term in the Safety Features column of any new car’s brochure, ABS in essence prevents your wheel from locking-up in the event of sudden braking.

But what’s this safety feature about, one that’s commonly available in 99.9% of the new cars on our roads today?

In a car without ABS, the wheels can lock-up causing the wheels to “stop spinning” and simply skidding forward. When the car’s tyres start skidding, the driver will lose significant vehicle control along with increased braking distance – meaning that it would take a longer distance for your vehicle to stop especially in wet surfaces.

Using a central control unit, each wheel is monitored using speed sensors placed on all four corners. When it is detected that one of the wheels is spinning slower than the rest, indicating a potential lock up, the ABS system will intervene and systematically applies optimum braking pressure to enhance braking performance – shortening the brake distance significantly.

The video above clearly illustrates how the ABS system works to reduce braking distance, maintain a vehicle’s stability and control under heavy braking and increasing the likelihood of evading an obstacle under heavy breaking.

It should be known that the ABS system merely supports the driver’s control of the vehicle and not a standalone system that takes over completely should the driver run out of talent.


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