Ever felt that rapid pulsing under your foot when you brake hard? That’s your ABS keeping your tires engaged where the rubber meets the road. The premise behind the anti-lock braking system is that a skidding wheel has less traction than a non-skidding wheel. The anti-lock braking system rapidly pumps, sending and releasing pressure to the brake. This pulsing pressure keeps the wheel from locking up and skidding due to continuously applied pressure from the brake without release of that pressure.
ABS lets you keep steering while stopping quickly.
When your tires have traction, you can maneuver the vehicle without gaps in control, which is what happens when your tires skid (lack traction). The ABS means that you can steer while braking, which is critical to avoiding collisions and maximizing safety. Because you have traction when your ABS is engaged, you can stop quickly. Steering control plus the ability to stop short keeps you safe.
ABS is pumping so you don’t have to. In fact, you shouldn’t!
It was useful when vehicles didn’t have ABS to manually pump the brakes to slow down without skidding in slippery conditions. With ABS, your vehicle should never be skidding to begin with, so pumping actually slows down the deceleration process. Though the pulsing might be quite violent, hold down on the brake and let the ABS safely slow your vehicle to a stop.