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the importance of abs on cars
the importance of abs on cars

Understanding ABS on Cars: Why It’s Vital

What is ABS?

What does ABS mean on a car and why is it important? The Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), otherwise known as the Anti-skid Braking System, is one of the most important safety features that your car could have. They’re particularly important in emergency braking situations.

Importance of ABS

In the past, there were a lot of cars without ABS, which caused a lot of drivers to lose control over their vehicles and skid off the road. Fortunately, ABS has become a more prominent feature in vehicles over time. On September 1, 2011, vehicles manufactured after that date were federally mandated to be equipped with this lifesaving technology. This could explain why the figures on traffic accidents in the 1950s all the way to the 1990s are higher than those we see today.

Types of ABS


  1. 4-wheel ABS: This type of ABS can normally be found in newer models (2011 onwards) of light passenger cars and is meant to help with the driver’s ability to steer the car safely during emergency braking situations.
  2. Rear-wheel-only ABS: This type of ABS can normally be found in heavier vehicles (ie: pickup trucks, vans, SUVS, RVs), and is meant to aid in preventing the car from skidding off the road.


In vehicles without ABS, you would need to push the brake pads in pulsing motion in order to steer it to safety should the need arise (ie: a child runs amok in the street and you need to quickly swerve to prevent an accident).There is a science behind this.

Non-ABS Challenge:

Vehicles have to satisfy the “conditions of rolling.” Such conditions require the sum of the translational velocity (the backward or forward velocity of the car as a unit) and the rotational velocity (the rolling velocity of the wheels) to be zero. In cars without ABS, merely pushing down the brakes only stops the wheels from rotating. This does not take care of the car’s translational velocity, which will remain consistent during the time of braking, causing it to still move forward. At this point, the vehicle’s translational and rotational velocity no longer adds up to zero which could open another set of problems. To remedy this issue, you would need to step on your brakes in pulsing motion as you steer it to safety. If not, you would lose control of the car. The problem with this is that this maneuvering tactic can only be masterfully done by experienced drivers.

ABS Solution:

But with ABS, you no longer need to be an “experienced” driver to steer your car to safety. As opposed to needing to hit the brakes in pulsing motion, your car’s ABS mechanism already does that for you. Vehicles with ABS have speed sensors attached to all wheels. When you hit the brakes, the brake pads get activated. The sensors then detect that the wheel is about to lock up, causing your car’s modular unit to send a signal to release the brake pad intermittently. This allows the driver to brake and steer the vehicle simultaneously without the need to manually push down the brake pedal periodically.


There are numerous cars out there on the road who are not equipped with ABS. If an inexperienced driver gets behind the wheel driving such vehicles, this could lead to a number of personal injuries. When afflicted by an accident of the sort, you need to call Omega Law Group. Our awards and excellent testimonials are a result of our ability to empathize and attend to the needs of our clients. Visit our Contact Us page or call us at 866-942-3881.