Safety Features in Automobiles

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Safety Features in Automobiles "Motor vehicle crashes are the number one killer of Americans under the age of 34. Every 22 minutes someone is killed in a crash" (Vince and Larry). Since 1990, many new safety features have been put into vehicles to help save lives. These features are Antilock brakes, airbags, OnStar, and four-wheel drive or all wheel drive. "One of the best safety features available is anti-lock braking system" (Gillis). Antilock brake system (ABS) is a safety feature that keeps the brakes from locking up so the driver can maintain control over steering and directional stability in situations where the driver has to apply heavy brakes, heavy enough that if the vehicle was not equipped with ABS, the brakes would lock up. ABS is usually engaged on slippery road surfaces, when traction is minimal. If a person's brakes lock up on a slippery surface, then the vehicle could loose steering control and the vehicle could spin. ABS could help a person avoid an accident because it allows a person to maintain steering control of the vehicle (Questions and answers...). In a vehicle not equipped with an antilock brake system, the driver has to manually pump the brakes to keep from sliding. ABS works by sensing each wheel's speed. When the sensors detects that the wheels are about to lock up, the ABS computer automatically changes the amount of brake fluid being sent to each wheel. With ABS engaged, the vehicle will "Maintain optimum braking performance---just short of locking up the wheels." The computer will keep adjusting the brake pressure as the road conditions change (Antilock brake systems ...). The four main parts of an antilock brake system are the speed sensors, the pump, the valves, and the controller. Th... ... middle of paper ... ...ve.htm National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (1996). Moving * forward: expanding collaborations between traffic safety and public health. MA. Education Development Center, inc.. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (1998). Questions and * answers regarding antilock brake systems (ABS). U.S. Department of Transportation. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (1999). New car safety features. U.S. Department of Transportation. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (2000). Antilock brake * systems (ABS): reading this could be one of the safest things you ever do. U.S. Department of Transportation. OnStar. (2002). What is OnStar: services. Retrieved March 14, 2003, from http://onstar.com/visitors/html/ao_features.htm "Vince and Larry." (1991). Vince and Larry on belts and bags. U.S. Department of Transportation.

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