Modern cars come with a feature called anti-lock braking system (ABS). Without ABS, extremely hard braking will cause the wheels to lock (stop rolling) while the car continues to slide.
As we all know, in wet conditions, a skidding car is at even greater risk of an accident.
When a car skids, its tyres have essentially lost their grip with the road surface and the car will continue skidding even though it is slowing down. It will eventually come to a stop, but it may not do so in a straight line or within the lane.
When ABS is triggered during hard braking, the high-frequency brake pressure modulation control is what results in the “grating” or rough feedback through the brake pedal.
This is perfectly normal. Do not release the brake pedal when you feel this, as it means that the system is working.
In the days before ABS, tyre-screeching sounds were common at junctions for this very reason.
ABS is an electronically controlled system that modulates brake pressure continuously so that the tyres never stop rolling even in slippery conditions. Because the tyres are not locked, full steering control is maintained, preventing skidding or deviation from the intended path.
One of the main components of ABS is the revolution sensor at each wheel that monitors if the wheel is still rotating.
Another electronically controlled system commonly known as electronic stability program uses these sensors’ feedback to selectively brake individual wheels in order to enhance stability – usually through a corner.