Cars are pretty safe these days, but they weren’t always. As technology has improved, car fatalities have dropped. Our cars are protecting us better than ever before.
If you look at the introduction of various safety measures you can see a correlation with the reduction in road deaths. There are so many technologies now standard in your car that assist you, but there are a handful that have made the biggest impact.
According to government sources, road deaths increased every year in Australia between 1925, when accurate car record keeping commenced, and 1970. What happened in 1970 to buck this trend? Seat belts. This was the year that wearing a seatbelt became mandatory in Australia.
Another significant safety technology was the introduction of SRS (secondary restraint system) airbags. These were first introduced in 1980 and are now present in every new car sold in Australia. Depending on the car, there are front, side, curtain and knee airbag types. Mercedes-Benz has also introduced a world-first airbag built into the back of the front seats, protecting second row passengers. So, like seatbelts, they have made a big difference.
If you had to name a third advanced safety technology that has made a huge impact on our roads it’s a car’s Anti-lock Braking System, or ABS. Designed to stop the wheels from locking during heavy breaking and in slippery conditions, before they were introduced a driver either slammed on the brakes hard or repeatedly pumped the brakes - AKA cadence braking - and hoped for the best.
When you brake hard it locks the brakes, and the result of this could be a crash from uncontrolled spinning, skidding or sliding.
ABS brakes give the driver more control over the car and its steering in an emergency or heavy braking situation and has reduced frontal collisions by a whopping 35%. That’s a lot. When you consider the road toll in 1970 was 3,798 nationally, dropping to 1,195 in 2019, these safety measures are helping.
So how does the ABS work? The ABS unit has 2 main components, an Electronic control unit and a Hydraulic controller. The electronic controller measures the speed of each wheel via a speed sensor in each wheel and the hydraulic controller commanded by the electronic controller regulates the pressure to each brake caliper to stop the wheels from locking/skidding in an emergency braking situation.
The ABS Electronic controller continually checks for signs of rapid wheel-speed deceleration, an indicator that a wheel is about to lock. If a wheel is about to lock, it directs the hydraulic unit to reduce the pressure on that brake caliper until it resumes normal rotation.
Newer ABS systems calculate the vehicle’s speed and steering inputs to apply the brakes if the driver needs to suddenly swerve to avoid an accident, reducing the likelihood of a vehicle skidding off the road or spinning.
Regularly servicing your vehicle is of course important – and the ABS can be easily checked using diagnostic scan tools. If there is a fault, you’ll see a warning light on the instrument cluster. Wheel sensor and pressure sensor faults, fault codes relating to low voltage or ABS disengagement are common issues that can be fixed by Injectronics.
Covered by a 12-month warranty on all workmanship, Injectronics can test and repair the ABS module or program a replacement unit if the original is not repairable. It can also undertake a hydraulic function test on some ABS units using Injectronics’ in house designed, world-first test equipment.
The advantage of approaching Injectronics, for all your ABS and ECU repair needs, is that it can turn around most common faults in one to two days, and it will be a fraction of the cost of a dealership replacement unit – if one is even available.
For more information on your ABS or ECU issues, contact Injectronics tech hotline on 1300 308 060 (AU) or 0800 536 547 (NZ). You can also create a live chat at www.injectronics.com.au or email email@example.com