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Anti Lock Braking System


ABS basically means employment of a system that avoids the brakes from locking up (locking of wheel rotation), thereby, improving the braking performance as a result. In other words ABS is an antilock braking system, which is a safety feature that prevents wheel lockup and skidding during emergency braking. It pumps the brakes up to 20 times per second, allowing drivers to keep control of the vehicle during an emergency braking maneuver.


Most of the people have faced a situation most of the times in their lives while driving. You have to stomp on braking due to sudden arrival of an object in front of you or simply because of a deep hole  or speed breaker above average height ( which is common in Nepal due to lack of norms for a speed breaker  height. ) What do you do then? You would simply thrash the brake pedal with full force. But in most of the cases, the vehicles refuse to stop in time and keep skidding to sliding. All of a sudden, the steering or handle also get so tight that you could not steer the car away from the object. Eventually your vehicle ends up in crashing. As a result you meet with a deadly accident. In fact most of the accidents, take place due to head on crash for which, failure in stopping power is responsible. In most of these cases, the accident could have been avoided if the car was able to be stopped just a feet or so before the point of collision.


Why it happened? Because when you applied brakes with full force, the brakes reached their maximum stopping position causing the wheels to lock up. Now, wheels are locked but due to the weight of car, passengers, and force of speed, the vehicle couldn’t be stopped in such short time. As a result the wheels start skidding or slipping on the road. This is not enough, as due to locking of wheels, the steering also gets so hard that it cannot be operated right or left to avoid hitting the object in front, so what is the remedy?. Simple, press the brake pedal and as the moment you sense wheel lock up, release the brake and apply again and release and apply. It reduces the braking distance and also the steering is operable due to freedom of movement of wheel. Now this is the role of ABS or anti lock braking system which does the above work.


ANTI-LOCK Braking was first designed for trains in the early 1900s and developed for jet aircraft after World War Two. In the late 1960s, motor manufacturers began to adapt ABS for use in luxury cars. However, early prototypes were severely limited by the mechanical and analogue technologies available at the time. Advances in electronics technology in the 70s and 80s however, allowed car manufacturers to develop highly reliable anti-lock braking systems that could be economically installed in a wide variety of vehicles.


ABS is very useful for Nepal where the world’s highest rate of road accidents occur if measured against the available road network density. According to the WHO report ninety percent of deaths on roads occur in low and middle income countries like India and Nepal, as rich and developed nations have been able to lower deaths in the accidents.  There are many factors that cause road accidents.  But in Nepal when the nature of accidents in the Nepalese highways are minutely  assess, it is found, among others, that the poorly  designed and deficiently constructed guardrails or bunds erected along the edge of the highways to offer levers to the vehicles from falling down the steep terrain tend to cause road casualties. In such type anti lock braking system would be helpful in lessening the accident and its causalities.  With an anti-lock braking system, computerized sensors located at each wheel monitor deceleration when the brake is applied. The sensor will detect any wheel lockup and trigger the hydraulic system to automatically pump the brakes up to 20 times per second.




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