Good point, but seems to stray from Fatriff's original concern about ABS. Am I wrong to think that ABS response to ice was the catalyst for my Daughter's RTA-skid?
Agree with Rodt's comment....think about it - ABS stops a tyre from locking, so it continues to have some traction and the driver has directional control. If a tyre locks, the contact patch will just continue in whichever direction the vehicle was going at the point it locked. On ice, neither situation is going to give you a great deal of control, but the none-locked wheel has the better chance. Desperately sorry for your daughter's circumstances, but in reality the fact that there had been ice on the car-screen before setting off should have been a clue that there could be icy patches on the road, particularly in shaded places, over bridges etc....
Can't see any way that ABS could be blamed. I'd even take some issue with other's comments that ABS doesn't reduce stopping distances (although agreeing absolutely that the more important issue is that it gives you control) - for a very few, very experienced drivers, who are expecting the situation, cadence braking can possibly match or maybe beat ABS - but when we get our skid-car students to try it when we switch the ABS off, there are very few who can perform cadence braking and avoid the obstacle and stop quicker than when the ABS is on - and that's when they are specifically advised of what is going to happen. If most drivers were that competent, I doubt that there would have been the pressure to install ABS on every car.
Realistically, most drivers are not taught how to anticipate and avoid skids, or how to deal with them, and do not appreciate that whilst modern cars are good, they can't defy the laws of physics - the only answer to bad conditions is to reduce your momentum and remain alert.