ABS is not a silver bullet. The presence of this system in your car does not save you from an accident so it is necessary to learn how to properly use it first, especially if you just bought a new car like a fuel-efficient Hyundai Accent and do not want to even stretch it.
So, how does ABS work?
Each wheel of a car, which is equipped with this system, has a speed sensor as well as an electronic ABS control unit that monitors slippage of each wheel individually, along with a hydraulic cylinder distributing the braking force. The principle of operation is based on the following thing: when you start to brake sharply, an ordinary brake system locks the wheel, and you continue to go further, and the steering wheel is pretty much useless. Whereas, ABS during hard braking tracks the blocking, as well as it releases wheels, so that you can keep control of the car. When doing so, there is a very strong vibration in the brake pedal and you can hear a distinctive sound. These things should be ignored, as they point to the normal operation of the system.
When is it necessary?
ABS helps a lot in winter or on a slippery road, when the risk of a wheel lock is pretty big. In these conditions, the system makes the braking distances much shorter while maintaining longitudinal stability. In dry weather conditions, on the other hand, the braking distance increases, but only in case of a fairly heavy braking, which happens quite infrequently.
Cars equipped with ABS remain controllable during emergency.
How to operate?
Experienced drivers who know firsthand what ABS is, use the “pedal to the metal” technique during braking at high speed in summer or winter on slippery surfaces. It goes like this: you start pressing the brakes as hard as you can, regardless of the pedal vibration, and a rather unpleasant sound and you end up getting a good deceleration while being able to maneuver without losing control of the vehicle. When you first try this system in action, it might be a little unusual, but the result is immediate. The most important thing is that you should not be afraid to press the pedal to the metal when breaking. If your vehicle is equipped with ABS, you will definitely need some practice since in extreme circumstances, you may not have time to react in time.
Find some quiet area and try breaking sharply at a speed of about 40 km / h while turning the steering wheel.
Importantly, you should not listen to gossips about ABS and its reliability. Simply try it out and make your own conclusions. Note that ABS was first installed back in 1978, and during this period, the system has become so popular that no one intends it to eliminate it. On the contrary, the electronic system is modernized and ABS gets better and better with every new generation and is now installed in every modern car both premium ones like Honda Accord or even in rather inexpensive ones like Ford Focus.