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Re: Bumper Height, ABS, Air Bags, and Pseudo-Safety

To:, Mark Jurras <>
Subject: Re: Bumper Height, ABS, Air Bags, and Pseudo-Safety
From: "Glen R. Wilson" <>
Date: Sun, 21 Apr 1996 12:37:41 -0400

I don't mean to jump all over you here, but your comments on the 
function of ABS _miss_ the point which is that brakes are supposed to 
stop the forward motion of the vehicle.

You wrote:

> The point of ABS is not to stop faster rather it is to keep the car
> from going out of control during panic stops. Some cars more than
> others tend to have the rear end pass the front end under panic braking
> situations. ABS is used to prevent this situation as opposed to
> stopping you faster. The big misconception is faster braking. If
> braking causes the ABS to function then you are probably driving too
> fast for the conditions. Then again, Mario Andretti said that if you
> are in control then you are not driving fast enough.
> - -Mark "Why does my brake pedal always vibrate when I am stopping" Jurras

The purpose of any braking system is to stop the car, and we usually 
need it to stop in as short a distance as possible.  I was traveling 
down a slight decline on a road glazed with black ice with a light rain 
falling.  I had lots of space between me and the stopped vehicle ahead. 
 I was going 35 mph and following at a distance of 1000 or 1500 feet.  I 
came around a bend and there was the stopped vehicle way up ahead. If 
I'd had any choice, I wouldn't have been out on the roads at all, but I 
had to get home from work.  There are many times when I'd have to admit 
that I was following too closely or going too fast for conditions, but 
this wasn't one of them.  The simple fact of the matter is that a 
high-tech system purposely permitted the wheels to continue to rotate in 
spite of the fact that I was pushing on the brake pedal thereby taking 
me out of the equation and effectively putting the car out of the 
driver's control.  This, in my opinion, is not what a braking system 
should do.  


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