Antilock brakes are
a type of braking system in which a sensor recognizes that
a wheel is about to be locked up. The sensor sends a message
to a computer, which starts releasing and applying the brake,
stopping the lock up and allowing the driver to maintain
control or drive around an obstacle instead of sliding towards
When a driver hits
regular brakes hard, the wheels may lock. When wheels are
locked they loose the ability to be steered by the driver.
Locked wheels can also result in longer stopping distances
(depending on the type of surface they are in contact with).
Antilock brakes also allow drivers to keep control of their
vehicle when traveling over areas where the friction is
uneven, such as patches of dirt, oil etc. The main advantage
of antilocks is that they allow a driver to brake hard while
still being able to steer around obstacles.