Do I Have to Pump My Brakes to Keep From Skidding if I Have an ABS?

This question is common, especially for teen drivers or adults just learning how to drive. It is also an important question. You do not want to reduce the effectiveness of your Antilock Brake System (ABS) by making a mistake in a moment of panic.

What is an Antilock Brake System?

Most vehicles now come equipped with an Antilock Brake System. The ABS works with the base brakes on your vehicle to prevent them from locking up in certain situations. 

An ABS can help prevent spinouts when you hit the brakes hard, or your brakes lock up on a slippery road. Without ABS, you could lose steering control when the brakes lock up, and the vehicle would spin out of control. The ABS helps reduce the risk of a car crash when the brakes lock up.

A rear-wheel antilock brake system prevents the wheels from locking so that the vehicle travels in a straight line. If your vehicle is equipped with an all-wheel ABS, you retain steering control if the brakes try to lock up. With four-wheel ABS, you might avoid an accident by steering around a vehicle or other obstacles if you cannot stop the vehicle in time to avoid a collision.

Do I Pump the Brakes if My Vehicle is Equipped with an Antilock Brake System?

No, you do not pump your brakes if your vehicle has ABS. You should only pump your brakes if your ABS fails and your vehicle begins to skid. Otherwise, keep your foot pressed on the brake pedal and steer your vehicle to a safe location. 

An ABS detects when your brakes begin to lock. The system repeatedly applies and releases the brakes to keep the tires from skidding. You only need to hold your foot steady on the brake pedal to keep the ABS engaged. Removing your foot from the brake pedal will disengage the ABS.

ABS is Not a Failsafe for Dangerous Driving Habits

Your vehicle may be equipped with ABS, but that does not mean you should engage in dangerous driving habits. ABS cannot prevent all accidents. If you speed, drive recklessly, or tailgate, you may still cause a traffic accident even though your vehicle’s ABS engages. You may have insufficient time to stop the vehicle or steer around another vehicle to avoid a collision.

Instead, think of your ABS as an extra layer of protection when an unexpected event causes your brakes to lock up. It can help you avoid an accident, but you should not rely on it to do so in all situations. 

Tailgating is a Common Cause of Car Accidents

ABS and other driver assistance technologies can help prevent some accidents caused by human error. However, too many drivers rely on these systems and still follow the vehicle in front of them too closely.

Tailgating or following too closely is one of the most common causes of rear-end accidents. Reasons for tailgating include distracted driving, speeding, impaired driving, and impatience. Many people tailgate the car in front of them when they are in a hurry or running late.

Unfortunately, a rear-end accident can cause traumatic injuries. These so-called “fender benders” can result in significant financial damages. 

Common injuries caused by rear-end crashes include:

Victims of a rear-end accident may receive compensation for their injuries and damages.

Who is Responsible for Damages Caused by a Rear Impact Collision?

In most cases, the driver who rear-ends another vehicle is liable for the damages caused by the crash. Drivers have a duty to maintain a safe distance from the drivers in front of them. If you rear-end another vehicle, it is assumed that you were following too closely:

A driver could be liable for damages, including:

  • The cost of medical treatment and care
  • Costs for personal care and in-home health care
  • Loss of wages, benefits, and other income
  • Permanent impairments and disabilities
  • Pain and suffering damages
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Decreases in future earning potential

How much money you might receive for a car accident claim depends on the facts of your case. A car accident lawyer can review your claim to determine whether a settlement offer by an insurance provider is fair. In many cases, the initial settlement offer by an insurance company is lower than the value of your injury claim.

If you are unsure of the value of your damages or what damages you are entitled to receive, it is in your best interest to seek legal advice before you accept the settlement offer or sign any documents for the insurance company. 

For more information, call one of our convenient locations nearest you for help.

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