When a moving car encounters a patch of ice the brakes are applied. Why is it desirable to keep the wheels rolling on the ice without locking up?
Static friction is greater than kinetic friction.
Static friction exists if the wheels keep rolling on the ice without locking up, resulting in maximum braking force. However, if the wheels lock up then kinetic friction takes over since there is relative slipping between wheel and ice. This reduces the braking force and the car takes longer to stop.
Anti-lock braking systems (ABS) on a vehicle prevent the wheels from locking up when the brakes are applied, thus minimizing the amount of time it takes for the vehicle to reach a complete stop. Also, by preventing the wheels from locking up you have greater control of the vehicle.
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