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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.
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.
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.
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.
How Anti-Lock Brakes Work
The anti-lock brake system, or ABS, has four parts and each must function perfectly in order for the ABS system to react accordingly. 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 ABS system in certain positions, which help to relieve pressure in the brakes. If the valve is open, the pressure can pass into the brake. If the valve is blocked, the brake becomes separated and the pressure rises from the brake and master cylinder.
The valve 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.
Using the Anti-lock Braking 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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