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ABS Driving Techniques
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While new vehicles equipped with anti-lock brakes (ABS) are more prevalent today than just five years ago, many drivers are still unfamiliar with the proper techniques for operating an ABS-equipped vehicle. Anti-lock braking systems are designed to prevent skidding and to help drivers maintain steering control during an emergency braking situation. Although the first anti-lock braking system was developed in 1936, ABS has only been widely available in the United States for slightly more than a decade.
In the past, before ABS-equipped vehicles were used for driver education, instruction focused on teaching students to "pump" the brakes to compensate for vehicle skidding. This technique, however, will actually hinder the handling dynamics of a vehicle equipped with ABS.
ABS vs. non-ABS
ABS keeps the wheels from locking under hard braking, such as during a sudden stop or emergency situation. Sensors located near each wheel monitor speed to determine when the wheels are about to lock. (Locked wheels cannot be influenced by further braking input.) Once the wheels lock up on a non-ABS-equipped vehicle, steering ability is severely or completely compromised. Because the ABS system can pump the brakes up to 18 times per second (faster than any human), the system prevents the wheels from locking, allowing the driver to maintain steering control and maneuver around the obstacle....
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