Vehicles Required to Have Antilock Braking Systems
The Department of Transportation requires that antilock braking systems be on:
Many buses built before these dates have been voluntarily equipped with ABS.
Your school bus will have a yellow ABS malfunction lamp on the instrument panel if it is equipped with ABS.
How ABS Helps You
When you brake hard on slippery surfaces in a vehicle without ABS, your wheels may lock up. When your steering wheels lock up, you lose steering control. When your other wheels lock up, you may skid or even spin the vehicle.
ABS helps you avoid wheel lock up and maintain control. You may or may not be able to stop faster with ABS, but you should be able to steer around an obstacle while braking, and avoid skids caused by over braking.
Braking with ABS
When you drive a vehicle with ABS, you should brake as you always have. In other words:
Braking if ABS is Not Working
Without ABS, you still have normal brake functions. Drive and brake as you always have.
Vehicles with ABS have yellow malfunction lamps to tell you if something is not working. The yellow ABS malfunction lamp is on the bus’s instrument panel.
As a system check on newer vehicles, the malfunction lamp comes on at start-up for a bulb check and then goes out quickly. On older systems, the lamp could stay on until you are driving over five mph.
If the lamp stays on after the bulb check, or goes on once you are under way, you may have lost ABS control at one or more wheels.
Remember, if your ABS malfunctions, you still have regular brakes. Drive normally, but get the system serviced soon.
Regulations in red are new this year.
Purple text indicates an important note.