Emergency 4: Accident Avoidance With ABS
One of the beauties of ABS is that it allows steering during hard braking. But this can create serious problems if you do it improperly. A quick technical note explains why: Tires produce their best stopping force when pointed straight ahead. Without ABS, turning while braking hard will cause the tires to stop rolling. That reduces the stopping power and there's absolutely no turning ability. With ABS, the computer allows some of that stopping force to be traded for cornering power.
Here's the problem, however. Many drivers will pound the brake and steer — to miss a deer, for example. They then release the brake pressure with the wheels still turned. With the request for braking removed, the tires are now free to produce maximum cornering power, so the car darts right and hits a second deer — and a tree. That's why you practice centering the wheel before releasing brake pressure.