By Nnamdi Ikeh-Akabogu (FRSCN)
Anti-lock brakes are a highly-touted feature in modern cars, but they do have drawbacks.
- Advantages of Anti-Lock Brakes:
The main benefits of an anti-lock brake system (ABS) include:
- Stopping on Ice: As mentioned above, an ABS prevents lock-ups and skidding, even in slippery conditions. Anti-lock brakes have been proven to save lives in some situations by helping drivers keep control of a vehicle.
- Lower Insurance Costs: Because it is a thoroughly tested safety device with a track record of effectiveness, insurers often give customers specific discounts for having an ABS system on their vehicle.
- Higher Resale Value: As a feature on a car or truck, an ABS raises the market value of the vehicle. Nowadays, where ABS technology has become standard on many vehicles, not having it could result in a lower price for resale.
- Traction Control: An ABS shares some of the infrastructure of a traction control system, where new technology helps ensure that each wheel has traction on the road. That makes it easy for manufacturers to install both of these features at the factory.
- Disadvantages of Anti-Lock Brakes:
Despite the fact that anti-lock brakes are proven to be a safety feature in most situations, and insurers consider them to significantly lower risk for a vehicle, not all drivers are sold on this option for a car or truck. Here are some of the downsides that drivers find in this kind of brake system:
- Inconsistent Stop Times: Anti-lock brakes are made to provide for surer braking in slippery conditions. However, some drivers report that they find stopping distances for regular conditions are lengthened by their ABS, either because there may be errors in the system, or because the clunking or noise of the ABS may contribute to the driver not braking at the same rate.
- Expense: An ABS can be expensive to maintain. Expensive sensors on each wheel can cost hundreds of dollars to fix if they get out of calibration or develop other problems. For some, this is a big reason to decline an ABS in a vehicle.
- Delicate Systems: It’s easy to cause a problem in an ABS by messing around with the brakes. Problems include disorientation of the ABS, where a compensating brake sensor causes the vehicle to shudder, make loud noise, or generally brake worse.
The traffic expert is DCC Nnamdi Ikeh-Akabogu, DCC Morning and Evaluation (M&E), Special Duties and External Relations (SEDER), FRCC HQ, AbujaBEWARE All Rights Reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without prior express written permission from Juliana Francis