Given the Indian road conditions, a two-wheeler is an ideal and practical solution for easy commutation. But one cannot ignore the risk it poses. The fact that the highest percentage of road accidents involves two-wheeler is a stark fact that cannot be brushed away under the carpet. It also triggered efforts to find ways to reduce the number of accidents happening on roads. One such invention is the Anti-Lock Braking System for two-wheelers. Here, we would understand it and various aspects of it.
What is Anti-lock Braking in Two- Wheelers?
The Anti-Lock Braking System is popularly referred to as ABS. It is an automobile safety system that prevents the wheels of any vehicles from locking when one is braking suddenly or in panic. This helps the wheels stay stable on the road, not lose its grip and thus avoid any uncontrolled skidding.
Whenever there is a possibility of an accident, the driver almost always brakes suddenly and in panic which raises a high possibility of the loss of traction between the tyres and the road surface. Consequently, the tyres often start skidding. The situation aggravates if the entire cycle happens uncontrollably. Since the vehicle was at high speed initially and its motion does not stop immediately even with braking; the loss of grip between the road and the tyres leads to the rider losing control over the steering of the vehicle and leading to the accident. If ABS get into the picture here; it proves a life saviour.
It might also be noted that compared to four-wheelers; two-wheelers are far less stable. Hence, it destabilizes faster and chances of its wheels locking is much higher. Hence, ABS is most vital for two-wheelers. The transport ministry of India had made the fitting of ABS and combined braking system (CBS) on all two-wheelers of over 125cc engine, mandatory. It is mandatory for all old and new models. If not already fitted; it needs to be fitted separately.
How Does the Anti-Lock Braking System Work?
We already know that the function of the anti-lock braking system is to prevent the wheel from locking during braking. The processes involved in its working are as follows:
- In the two-wheeler, each wheel of it has a speed sensor to monitor their speed. The signal from each speed sensor is sent to the electric control unit (ECU) for reading. When the speed sensors find the speed of any wheel reducing drastically in comparison to the other and the same is read by the ECU; it (ECU) signals the valves of the respective wheel to reduce the wheel pressure. Consequently, the valves get closed.
- Post this, the wheels start accelerating again which is again read by the ECU in the same manner. Now the ECU again sends a signal to the valves but this time to increase the pressure which leads to the valves opening and hence, brakes are applied. The process keeps repeating until everything is stabilized.
In this way, the ABS keep adjusting the braking pressure and prevents the wheels from locking and thus going a long way in maintaining the stability of the bike. It has proven to reduce the crashes of two-wheelers significantly.
Importance and Benefit of Anti-Lock Braking System or ABS
In any emergency situation, the ABS help the rider to reduce speed and stop his bike in an emergency. You tend to hit the brake hard on slippery roads or an emergency situation that locks the wheels. But the ABS hydraulic unit reduces the bike pressure immediately and slows down the wheels without any skidding and safely.
No driver would feel the presence or power of an ABS system in a non-emergency situation but it gives full confidence to them to apply full brake force in an emergency situation and have no fear of the wheels locking up.
ABS is an advanced technological system that has proven its mettle in reducing accidents and injuries and lowering the number of road accident deaths. However, it does not eliminate its possibility completely. Hence, you must still get yourself additional protection with a robust Comprehensive Two-Wheeler Insurance Policy.