In India, the first priority while buying a new vehicle is the features that it has to offer quickly followed by a concern regarding its fuel economy. Unfortunately, in most cases, the safety prospective of a vehicle is disregarded to quite an extent. This, along with a horrid traffic sense, mounts the most amounts of road accidents and fatalities.
What is ABS?
The most essential safety feature these days on all automobiles is Anti-lock Braking System or ABS. This system functions based on wheel speed sensors that are installed on the rims. These sensors work constantly to monitor the wheel spinning and log every change in rotation. As soon as these sense an abrupt decrease in wheel speed just before the wheel is about to lock, it automatically triggers the release of pressure in the brake lines, which in turn, eases the applied brake force on the wheel, thus preventing the tyre from locking up and skidding. With the vehicle still maintaining traction with the road, it is now possible to regain control over the situation, as one can steer clear of a possible impact.
ABS is the most useful tool under rainy and damp conditions when wheels are more likely to get lockedup and drivers lose control over the vehicle. In a car, loss of traction would mean complete loss of steering control. In terms of two-wheelers, the danger turns to be even graver. Once the wheels lose traction and lockout, the bike slips and skids throwing the rider off and in direct contact with the elements, resulting in severe injuries and even fatalities.
In many conuntries, ABS today is a mandatory safety feature that has to be incorporated by manufacturers into their vehicles as standard. In India, there are a few manufacturers like Volkswagen who have started taking initiative by making ABS standard across their entire range of vehicles. The pothole and gravel filled roads in our cities and highways are even a greater danger for motorcyclists and two wheelers.
With such road conditions, it should be the Government's responsibility to make this safety feature mandatory across as many vehicle types as possible. But till then, we as motorists have to rely on our common sense and logical reasoning not to ignore the importance of ABS while making a new purchase. At last, while entertainment features might give you comfort and luxury duing long drives, they would not replace the cost of your life or the life of others sharing the road with you. Reach back home as one piece, drive safe!!