Recently, a reckless driver caused a fatal crash in Tallahassee, Florida. When the driver of a Dodge Charger swerved to avoid a vehicle in the next lane, he jumped the curb and fatally struck a woman pushing a baby stroller. The infant in the stroller was critically injured.
The police were able to retrieve the data from the accident record. The data said that the driver was driving at speeds near 100 mph seconds before the crash. They were also able to determine that the ABS and stability control were not engaged.
Police, accident investigators and insurance companies can determine if the ABS or stability control system was functional during the time of an accident. ABS systems can set malfunction codes in the memory of the ABS control module. These can be retrieved with a simple scan tool. Some ABS systems will even log the number of key cycles the code has been on, and other systems will capture data from when the code was set. New vehicles with accident data recorders will record if the ABS was functional at the time of the accident.
If you are a technician, you need to make sure the ABS light is out on the dash. If the light is on, advise the customer. If you are a driver and the ABS light turns on, you need to realize that you are driving without one of the most critical safety systems that can do a better job of braking during a panic stop than you can.