When looking for a car or just talking about cars there are a lot of acronyms that shorten the conversation for some or confuse others. This post will focus on Anti-Lock Braking systems. Most people just know that "ABS" is a good thing and they should have it on their car to be safe, and they are right. ABS works with the braking system to pulsate the brakes in an emergency stop. That is why when you slam on your brakes (if you have ABS) you will feel a vibration in the pedal.
The pulsation of the brakes is of benefit to you because it allows the steering whee to still have control of the wheel direction in a hard braking situation. Without ABS in an emergency stop the brakes lock the wheel and have so much stopping power you cannot steer the vehicle anymore. When the brakes are compressed and released rapidly by the ABS system, it gives you the ability to steer around obstacles like deer or other obstructions in the road like OTHER CARS! In Snow and slippery conditions ABS is especially helpful for keeping traction as well. Here are two videos that help show how ABS works. If you look close you can even see the wheels stopping and then rotating again.
- Joe Macedone