I was driving home this evening and had an unexpected technological surprise – the anti-lock braking system (ABS). Not that I didn’t know I had it in my vehicle, but in the three years I’ve owned my Nissan X-Trail, I’ve never see it in action, until today!
Many years ago when I first got my licence, my parents insisted I complete a defensive driving course. During that we learnt how to stop in the wet and the method for that was to pump the brakes. ABS was only becoming standard on new cars some 11 years ago when I did that course. Although the exercise of stopping in the wet was only about 30 minutes of the day, its something that I instincly remember how to do.
On a few occasions in some older model cars, that stopping technique has saved me.
Today when I had the person in front of me decide to stop in the middle of the road during peak hour and in drizzling rain, I instinctively pumped away – and that is when the ABS kicked in!
Thinking about it, I marvelled at a technology we pretty much take for granted. I wondered how many other people would have known how to react in a similar situation without what is nowdays such a standard feature of most modern cars.