Anti-lock Braking System

Anti-lock Braking System or ABS is an anti-skid braking style system to help prevent the wheels from locking whilst braking.

They start to kick into action when the brake pedal is pressed hard, usually when you brake in an emergency.

In the old days when cars were not fitted with ABS, the driver would have to use cadence braking when they needed to brake in an emergency. Cadence braking is when the driver would have to brake on off on off in a fast and vigorous motion. This was so the wheels didn’t lock which would have caused the car to skid.

These days all cars are fitted with ABS as standard and so the driver doesn’t need to worry about cadence braking as the ABS would do it for them. It is like a pulsating movement on the brakes which is designed to help prevent the wheels from locking and as a result allows you to steer whilst braking.

You may hear or feel the brakes making a crunching noise when braking in an emergency, this is the ABS taking over and so if you hear or feel this, do feel inclined to press the brake pedal down even further.

In the unlikely event that your car skids here are some tips on what to do.

If the rear of your car skids to the right, then you should also steer to the right to correct the skid. If the rear of your car skids to the left, then you should steer to the left otherwise if you steer in the opposite direction then your car may end up spinning around in circles.

Although the best tip of all is to avoid slamming your brakes unless in an emergency. If you look as far down the road as possible and assess the danger early enough you will have time to come off the gas and reduce speed gradually by gently braking. This will allow the road user behind you to see your brake lights early enough so that they have time to react plus by reducing speed early enough will mean that there is more of a chance that you will not have to stop and you can continue without stopping. Its always better to avoid stopping by reducing your speed early rather than accelerating knowing that you will be coming to a stop in the very near future.