The ABS myth


Torque King
Staff member
JB Starion
When I was working as a defensive driving instructor many participants seemed to have no clear understanding of how and what exactly it did.

The common answer was that it stopped the brakes locking and many many on the courses so many simply failed to activate the system in the panic/emergency braking exercise due to thinking that they had applied maximum pedal pressure and the ABS was preventing the wheels locking.

We called lock up as a 10 pressure and they were applying anywhere between 6-9 pressures thinking that they would be stopping in the shortest possible distance in an emergency.

I/we had to send them back to carry out a "panic stop" to get them to actually experience and feel the ABS in action.

The ABS does not activate until the wheel sensors detect a locked wheel and only releases pressure on that wheel and not on all the other wheels at the same time.So it DOES NOT stop any or all wheels from locking but it unlocks any locked wheel and allows it/them to rotate to be able to still steer away from a potential crash/danger.

My first experience in an ABS equipped car was when a salesman was demonstrating it and drove with 2 wheels on the dirt and 2 on the tarmac and hit the brakes hard and the car pulled up straight.

I would urge anyone who drives a modern car that has not ever experienced the ABS in action to find a quiet stretch of road with no traffic and hit the brake pedal hard at app 50-60 kph a few times to get the feel of it in action as there is anecdotal evidence of people in an emergency situation getting off the brakes due to the noise and pedal pulsating and crashing.
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