Will having anti-lock brakes affect insurance coverage?
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UPDATED: Oct 18, 2021
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Having anti-lock brakes may affect insurance coverage, in a positive way because according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, anti-lock brakes or ABS brakes, add an additional layer of protection while operating a motor vehicle.
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Car insurance companies can help you save if your vehicle is equipped with anti-lock brakes because they consider this a safety measure, the safer your car, the lower your insurance rates. This is also true with certain security devices, like car alarms and seat belts.
If you are in the market for car insurance, make sure you provide as much information as you can to the agent. This will ensure that you receive a price that is fair and comparable. Failure to submit all of the facts may result in a higher premium.
What’s the primary purpose of anti-lock brakes?
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, explains how anti-lock brakes work to the benefit of anyone who utilizes them correctly. The primary purpose is to avoid skidding, which contributes to major collisions.
The ABS brakes are one of the most important safety features in modern cars. If you’ve ever had to make an emergency stop during wet weather and slippery surfaces, you probably hit the brake pedal as hard as possible to stop the car immediately.
Most times, when a driver encounters less than optimal road conditions, such as rain, snow or ice, standard braking systems do not provide sufficient traction and this can cause the wheels and tires to lockup.
Anti-lock brakes are specifically designed to excel in these cases and prevent the wheel lockup from occurring, thus, control steering in an attempt to avoid skidding and an overall loss of control.
The anti-lock braking system is designed to help you stop your car more safely in the case of emergency and allows you to steer at the same time, i.e turn the wheel and potentially avoid an accident. Without ABS, your front wheels will lock if you brake hard, and the car will skid in a straight line, regardless of what way the front wheels are pointing, unless you release some brake pressure and let the front wheels to spin again.
They work best when the roads are very slippery and are available in all new cars built after 2000. Currently, the options vary by dealer. Some provide anti-lock brakes on all of their vehicles as a standard feature, while others present them as an option. At any rate, the majority of car insurance companies recognize anti-lock brakes as excellent safety features and this may reflect in your rates.
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How anti-lock brakes work?
The ABS or anti-lock braking system, has four parts and each must function perfectly in order for the ABS system to react accordingly.
- Speed sensors: These sensors monitor how fast the wheel/s are rotating.
- Valves: The brake valve allows, blocks, and releases pressure on the brakes from three different positions.
- Pump: These pumps are filled with hydraulic fluid and apply pressure to the brake drums or callipers.
- Controller: The electronic stability control unit is the brain of the ABS and takes data from the sensors to decide whether or not to pump the brakes.
The sensors are placed on the wheels of the vehicle and they work as indicators. The sensors detect when the conditions are favorable for the wheels to lock, like during heavy rain that causes the road conditions to deteriorate.
The valve works with the anti-lock system in certain positions, which help to relieve brake pressure. If the valve is open, the pressure can pass into the brake. If the ABS valves are blocked, the brake becomes separated and the pressure rises from the brake and brake master cylinder.
The ABS valves can also help release pressure. Working with the sensors, the valve helps determine how much pressure is required to successfully operate the braking system.
The pump works with the valve to replace the pressure when it is released. Once the sensors send the message to the valve, the valve either opens, blocks or releases pressure. This determines the strength of the braking capacity. After the valve position is selected, the pump reacts. If more pressure is required, the pump takes the pressure released and redistributes accordingly.
In the interior of your vehicle, usually on the dashboard, is the controller. The controller can be monitored by the driver and helps you remain aware of the ABS system and how well it functions. It also monitors the sensors and is in command of the valve.
So, the ABS works in three stages. The brake pedal is pushed, the wheel sensors detect skidding or locking, and the ABS pumps the brakes.
How to use the anti-lock brake system effectively?
As a driver, it is imperative that you learn how to use your anti-lock braking system effectively. Just because you have the system in your vehicle, does not mean it will work for you unless you have prior knowledge and can deploy your brakes correctly.
Always read your owner’s manual to make sure you fully comprehend the process before you begin.
Practice as much as you can in a parking lot or other open space where there are no vehicles. Try to do this when the road conditions are similar to the days when you will utilize your ABS, like snow, ice, and rain. Make sure the pavement is slick. If you try to practice during ideal weather conditions, you may not receive the same results and you will not be prepared when an emergency occurs.
Accelerate your vehicle between 15 and 20 miles per hour and slam on the brakes, hard. Never remove your foot from the brake. Under no circumstances should you pump your brakes. If you pump your brakes, you confuse the sensors, pump, valve, and controller. Steer the car while depressing the brake and continue steering until you reach a complete stop
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