Antilock Braking Systems (ABS)
Driving Tips - Zipper's Driving School
As you drive along dog runs out close in front of you, you hit the brakes - hard - and try to steer round it, right?
But what if you brake TOO hard (highly likely with modern brakes without an anti-lock braking system). You could easily lock up (skid) one or more wheels and lose steering control and lengthen your stopping distance.
Threshold & cadence braking
Without ABS, the recognised braking methods are:
Anti-lock braking systems
To put it briefly, sensors at each of the road wheels detect an imminent wheel skid situation and feed the information to a controller which will briefly release and then re-apply the brakes - this can happen several times a second, much faster than a human driver can do it. A measure of steering control is maintained and stopping distance is often (but not always) reduced *.
* Reduced compared with what? Well, reduced stopping distance compared with locking the wheels up and skidding, or poorly executed threshold braking. But NOT necessarily reduced stopping distance compared with properly executed threshold braking.
DON'T assume you have "perfect brakes" just because your car is equipped with ABS.
ABS is NOT magic, it cannot give your tyres grip that isn't potentially there in the first place - in fact it will lengthen the stopping distance in extremely slippery conditions - although some measure of steering control might be retained.
DO NOT use ABS as an excuse to drive fast or carelessly in slippery conditions!
|| Top of Page | © John Ziersch, Zipper's Driving School April 2010|