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Anti Lock Brakes

I know what ABS are and what they do, but in my search for a new car I notice that a lot of economy and sub-compact cars don’t come equipped with them (ex: Chevy Cobalt, Ford Focus). Is there a reason other than keeping the costs down that these cars don’t come equipped with ABS standard?

It lets consumers decide what they want to pay for and what they can live without.

In a more expensive car, the added cost becomes less significant…

Strictly costs.

Costs for sure. And the fact that government and insurance company statistics say ABS isn’t very effective at either preventing accidents or moderating the severity of accidents. And some drivers dislike it – especially on ice and snow where it is – everyone agrees – largely ineffective and – in the minds of some drivers – something of a nuisance.

Jonah, Do You Have ABS On The Car You Are Currently Driving?

If “yes”, do you like it?

If “no”, do you feel you need it?

Others have given you very good information, here. Besides costing more on a new vehicle, repair work in the future could also be a little more expensive with ABS as it adds complexity to the automobile.


“Everyone agrees”? EVERYONE? I don’t. And lots of others don’t. Statistics based on drivers are hardly reliable because there are so many bad drivers who either don’t know how to use ABS, or, drive recklessly because they think ABS will save their stupid asses. In testing situations , when properly applied, meaning steady pressure on the pedal, not pumping it, anti- locks are very effective. Remember, the situations where anti-locks saved drivers from accidents don’t get reported. I have driven cars with and without ABS. I can and have stopped a non ABS aar in a icy road situation by using the pumping method learned in Driver’s Ed. I have also succssfully used anti-lock brakes in icy road situations. If you have proof that “the government” and insurance companies say ABS isn’t very effective, then please, print the sources. I’d like to read them, as well as their methods for determining ABS “isn’t very effective”. Thanks.

Everyone may not agree with Vtcodger, but I sure do, as do many others who have it. IMHO it’s overrated at best, a detriment under some normal driving conditions. And I’ve yet to see data that shows that it has any real life effect on either the number or severity of accidents. I’m not talking about test track data achieved under controlled conditions, I’m talking about real life empirical accident data.

I would also argue that real life statistics are the only ones that matter. They’re the only ones that include all the variables including the drivers.

I respect those who disagree and am glad the option exists for those who want it, but I’m also glad it isn’t mandated for all cars.

I drive for a company that leases thousands of vehicles a year (mostly used and mostly vans). The FIRST thing that happens is that the anti-lock systems are deactivated. It makes the brakes perform better and safer. Anyone can learn to safely stop without anti-lock brakes. Anti-lock brakes may help a little but it’s only for people who should not be driving anyway.

The point that everyone seems to be missing is that ABS is not intended to stop you in a shorter distance, nor do manufacturers claim that it will do so.

ABS is designed to allow the driver to be able to steer the vehicle during panic braking situations–and it does indeed accomplish this goal.

While I agree that “cadence braking” can be learned, it is also true that many people who learn this technique will be so intent on maintaining their braking cadence that they will not steer around stopped vehicles or other objects successfully.

For the typical driver on US roads (many of whom do appear to be highly distracted or brain-dead while driving), ABS can help him/her to avoid a collision while braking. However, that same system will not necessarily allow him/her to stop in a shorter distance, nor was the ABS system designed to do so.

If every driver on the road was highly skilled and was never distracted, ABS would not be necessary. Unfortunately, it is very unlikely that we will ever have a majority of the drivers on our roads fitting this description.