Do ABS Brake Systems Really Reduce Auto Accident Risks


June 12, 2011

Even though most cars in the U.S. and Canada now come equipped with anti-lock braking systems (ABS), most people do not really understand how these systems work.

The whole idea behind this type of braking system is to help to avoid skidding while braking while allowing a driver to maintain the ability to steer their vehicle in an emergency situation.

Unfortunately, people that have this technology at their fingertips can still be involved in Atlanta car accidents due to poor driving skills and habits. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates those cars with anti-lock brakes are 65% more likely to be in fatal crashes than cars without this braking system. This is mainly due to lack of education about how to use ABS.

Some common mistakes made when driving an ABS equipped automobile:

  • People try and pump the brakes in an emergency situation. The only thing that pumping brakes will do is to prevent the wheels from locking up while trying to stop suddenly. ABS brakes are designed to never lock up so all pumping the brakes will do is take you longer to stop. The ABS system will do all the work if you just apply the brake and press firmly down without letting up on the brake pedal. The brakes will pulse and even chatter but that is okay.
  • People assume that ABS brakes will help them to stop quicker. This is not their function. Their main function is to help a driver maintain control of their steering while braking.
  • Atlanta drivers assume that they can drive more aggressively just because they have ABS. This is not true and drivers should not become over-confident.

It is normally easy to figure out whether or not a vehicle is equipped with an ABS braking system. It will be in the owner's manual of your vehicle, and there will also be a yellow indicator light on the instrument panel when you engage the ignition.

Trucks, vans, and some SUVs come with rear-wheel-only ABS systems. This may allow the front wheels of these types of vehicles to lock up and can also result in loss of steering control. Cars are equipped with four wheel ABS systems so none of the wheels will lock up.

ABS systems can surprise drivers because when the brakes are applied they can make a buzzing noise. The brakes can also feel like they are vibrating, and then the brake can drop. This is very counter-intuitive to drivers who will often take their foot off the pedal when these things happen. This just means that the system is working and drivers should just keep their foot pressed firmly down with pressure.

It's important to understand how your ABS braking system works because it could help you to avoid a car accident on Atlanta roadways if you can maintain control of your vehicle in the event of an emergency. The system will usually activate above speeds of 10 mph and works better on wet and slippery surfaces.

At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we have been representing those who suffer serious injury or wrongful death in auto accidents in Atlanta and throughout Georgia for a quarter of a century. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in an Atlanta auto accident, we are prepared to fight hard to protect your rights and get you the the compensation you deserve. Our Atlanta auto accident attorneys are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located we are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.