There exists many people out there who have heard the terminology, ABS, however when it comes down to it, how many people actually know what it is and how it works?

Nearly all cars after 2012 are equipped with ABS however there exists cars pre existing to this period which do not. A new driver today must learn the proper way of braking under ABS, but also how and why to do the opposite if they ever find themselves driving a car without it. Here is a short clip below that demonstrates the differences in terms of stoppage with ABS vs Non ABS braking.

Traditionally, brakes are very simple: you push the brake pedal down and it clamps onto the brake pad and the car slows down. However, on a slipper surface it is very easy to clamp the brakes hard enough that the wheels slide instead of spinning if you stomp down on the brake pedal and hold it. This is a relatively bad thing as it causes the car to skid unpredictably which may lead to accidents on the road. Thus a technique was developed to prevent this occurrence which involves smoothly but firmly pressing the brakes until the tyres are about to break loose. Then you let off slightly to allow the tyres to resume rolling and repeat “pumping” the brakes to get the maximum braking grip available without skidding.


An inherent need for a better braking procedure became apparent as in the event of an emergency braking, the driver’s first instinct is to just simply slam the brakes and depress it all the way in. Thus a system was eventually developed that did almost exactly the same thing as a driver pumping the brakes, but 1000 times faster, and that is how ABS came into existence! It utilises a computer to determine whether any of the wheels are about to slide and release braking pressure at precisely the right time, making the braking process orders of magnitude much more efficient.

To brake properly using ABS,¬†you stomp on the brake pedal and hold it down hard while it pulsates against your foot and makes a sound like pieces are grinding off the brakes. Do not be alarmed, this is entirely normal. What you can’t do is try to pump the brakes like the traditional way, as this interferes with the ABS doing the same thing faster.

It’s beyond doubt that ABS is ever so much better than the old way. I just wish they didn’t have to be mirror images of each other!