Driving With ABS in the Winter

Roughly 76 percent of all vehicles manufactured in 2007 were equipped with anti-lock braking systems, according to Bosch. Since then, the number of vehicles made with ABS technology has only gone up. That said, driving vehicles with ABS systems can help prevent accidents – especially during winter weather – provided drivers understand how to use them properly.

Three S's of Braking with ABS
Many of the dangers associated with driving in winter weather come as a result of the slippery surfaces. Ice, freezing rain and snow can make the roads more treacherous than usual. Anti-lock braking systems are beneficial because they prevent the wheels from locking up in the event of an emergency stop. Another part of the appeal of ABS systems is how easy it is to use them. Simply:

  • Stomp: Press down on the brake pedal as hard as you can.
  • Stay: Once you put the brake pedal to the floor metal, make sure it remains there.
  • Steer: Unless there's an obstacle in your way, you shouldn't have to move the wheel much. On slippery roads, a little bit of steering can go a long way

"It is still possible to slide on the slippery roads."

In Case of a Skid
Although ABS systems decrease the likelihood of losing control of your vehicle, it is still possible to slide on the slippery roads. If your wheels begin to skid, your best course of action is to slowly release the accelerator and keep your hands steady on the wheel. Don't hit the brakes if you can help it.

The Right Tires Help
According to Edmund's, a leading provider of consumer automotive information, one of the best ways to increase driving safety in the winter is to utilize tires with more treading than usual. More treading translates to more traction. When the winter weather is here, make sure you're using winter tires. They're designed to give your tires – and your vehicle – the traction they need.