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One of the best safety features available on cars today is anti lock brake systems. In the old days when you hit brake pedal gently, it would disperse the brake fluid which would send your brake system into motion, using the brake pads to grab the rotors and gradually slow you down. When you stomped on the brakes in a panic, they would frequently lock up, especially on inexperienced drivers faced with catastrophe.
Antilock brake systems modulate the pressure from the fluid in your hydraulic brake system, whether you stomp or step gently. These brakes can sense when it senses a tire slipping or locking up, and will compensate accordingly.