Improper Steering Endangers Drivers With ABS

Too much steering - such as from jerking the wheel while braking - can send an ABS-equipped vehicle out of controlToo much steering - such as from jerking the wheel while braking - can send an ABS-equipped vehicle out of control.
Improper steering in vehicles equipped with antilock brakes (ABS) can send the vehicle veering dramatically out of control, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has found. "When drivers are about to hit something, they often panic, jam on the brakes, and jerk the wheel," says David K. Willis, president of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. "If the car has antilock brakes it will respond to the extreme steering and run off the road."

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety tested cars with and without antilock brakes. At 35 mph, a panic stop combined with a violent jerk of the steering wheel caused an ABS-equipped car to dart across two lane widths, enough to send the vehicle into oncoming traffic or off the roadway. The same action in a car without antilock brakes locked the wheels so the car skidded forward in the lane but hit the obstruction.

"In a study of crash records the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that ABS cars had more single-vehicle, run-off-the-road crashes than cars without ABS," Willis says. "The cars without ABS had more crashes with other vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists." For this reason, automobile insurers such as USAA and Allstate have announced that discounts for ABS equipped vehicles will cease. Research shows no substantial difference in claims between vehicles equipped with ABS and those without.

The Foundation's tests, conducted on August 26, 1997 at the Transportation Research Center in East Liberty, Ohio, apparently confirm the theory that while ABS allows drivers to steer around an obstacle in an emergency, too much steering -- such as from jerking the wheel while braking -- sends the vehicle out of control. While the ABS is pumping the brakes very rapidly, the wheels continue turning. The driver retains control over the vehicle's steering, and may be able to steer around an obstacle, such as the car in front of you.

With ABS, drivers are not supposed to pump the brake. The brake pedal of an ABS-equipped vehicle behaves quite differently when ABS engages. A loud grating sound and rapid brake pedal pulsation often accompanies the braking action with ABS, which may alarm the driver. Many drivers mistakenly believe this vibration or pulsating sensation on the brake pedal signals a fault in the system. These drivers then begin to pump the pedal or simply lift off the brake pedal. This defeats the ABS system.

If your car has ABS, the ABS logo will appear on your dashboard every time you start the car. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety urges all drivers who have antilock brakes to practice using them before they get into an emergency. "ABS brakes can be a real lifesaver," Willis says. "But they're not like regular brakes. The only way to understand how the brakes work is to practice sudden stops in a safe situation, on both wet and dry pavement," Willis says. Drivers should take their vehicles to a parking lot with no obstructions, bear down on the brakes, and practice steering.

In summary, if your car has ABS, follow this braking procedure:

  • When you need to stop, apply firm, steady pressure to the brake pedal.
  • Gradually steer the car around any obstacles.
  • Release pressure on the brake.
  • Resume driving normally, but consider lowering your speed.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is a not-for-profit charitable organization funded by donations from AAA and CAA clubs and members. It is devoted to preventing crashes and saving lives through research and education in the field of traffic safety.

If your car has ABS, apply firm, steady pressure to the brake pedal whenever you need to stop.

Many of today’s cars are equipped with ABS, or anti-lock braking systems, but not many drivers know how to use them properly. Re-read your car’s owner’s manual to learn more about the proper use of ABS.

If your car has ABS, the ABS logo will appear on your dashboard every time you start the car.

In the event of a skid, anti-lock brakes rely on a computer in the car to pump the brakes more rapidly than you could pump them yourself. To make the system work, apply firm, steady pressure to the brake. When the ABS kicks in, you will feel a vibration or pulsating sensation on the brake pedal. Many drivers mistakenly believe this sensation signals a fault in the system. On the contrary, it means ABS is working properly.

While the ABS is pumping the brakes very rapidly, the wheels will continue turning. This gives you control over the vehicles steering. In other words, you may be able to steer around an obstacle, such as the car in front of you.

Since many drivers aren’t accustomed to being able to steer while skidding, they oversteer and risk running off the road. Be careful to turn the steering wheel just enough to avoid obstacles.
In summary, if your car has ABS, follow this braking procedure:

  • When you need to stop, apply firm, steady pressure to the brake pedal.
  • Gradually steer the car around any obstacles.
  • Release pressure on the brake.
  • Resume driving normally, but consider lowering your speed.

Drivers need antilock brake training

Despite the fact that antilock braking systems (ABS) were designed to reduce crash rates, automobile insurers such as USAA and Allstate have announced that discounts for ABS equipped vehicles will cease.
Why? Research shows no substantial difference in claims between vehicles equipped with ABS and those without.

With ABS, drivers are not supposed to pump the brake. The brake pedal of an ABS-equipped vehicle behaves quite differently when ABS engages. A loud grating sound and rapid brake pedal pulsation often accompanies the braking action with ABS, which may alarm the driver.

When this occurs, safety experts theorize that some drivers assume that something has gone wrong with their brakes. These drivers then begin to pump the pedal or simply lift off the brake pedal. This defeats the ABS system. When anyone buys a vehicle with an ABS system, they should practice using ABS.

Jerking the wheel while using antilock brakes can send a car swerving violently off course. Drivers with anitilock brakes should practice emergency braking and steering before an emergency.

Tips for antilock brakes

Antilock brakes are lifesavers when used correctly. The key to effective usage is practice. Practice in a safe, open parking lot. Accelerate to 35 or 40 miles per hour, and brake hard. Knowing how your car responds in an emergency can prevent panic steering.

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Comments

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when i drive my car even at very slow spped to about 25 - 30 KMS and apply hard sudden brake Its like no brake after the first stage..its like there is no brake pad an insted its metal to metal..here a grug sound and my pedal simply go down with out any action also feel some irregular movement on the pedal...here in Dubai i did not find any good professional to ask about this matter..
please tell me..
royg...@yahoo.com

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