Antilock Braking Systems (ABS) are fitted to many new cars and can improve the driver's ability to steer while braking heavily; they can also reduce stopping distances under many conditions. This report presents the findings from a project that has been carried out to assess the effectiveness of ABS in reducing accidents in Great Britain. A large postal survey was carried out of the owners of P-registered cars, asking for details of any accidents in which they had been involved during the previous year. A wide range of factors might influence the likelihood of being involved in an accident, and the survey covered these factors in some detail. Questions were also asked to test respondents' knowledge of ABS. A preliminary analysis of the data showed that drivers of ABS cars had reported about 10 per cent fewer accidents per year than drivers of non-ABS cars. The two groups of cars and drivers clearly differed in several respects, however, so that a more sophisticated analysis was required to provide unbiased estimates of the effectiveness of ABS. These indicated that ABS does have the potential to reduce the number of accidents, but that this has not been fully achieved. One reason is that many drivers have little or no knowledge of ABS. (A)

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