According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, motorcycle fatalities could be reduced by as much as thirty three percent or more if the Federal Government required that motorcycles be equipped with anti-lock brakes. Adrian Lund, who is President of the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety said, “new research shows that anti-lock brake technology can make motorcycle riding a much safer way to get around”.
The group asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Thursday to make regulation requiring that motorcycle manufacturers be required to equip the bikes that they sell with anti-lock brakes, citing that until 2009 motorcycle fatalities increased each year, the highest point climbing to 5,290 fatalities in 2008. But manufacturers claim that the added cost will be prohibitive, costing consumers much more money. Manufacturers themselves estimate that it will cost them approximately $1000 per bike to add anti-lock brakes.
It isn’t just the cost that concerns manufacturers and motorcycle groups either. Some say that there are serious safety issues with putting anti-lock brakes on motorcycles, saying that in certain situations they increase the chances of crashing, giving the examples of riding on a trail or other off-highway type surface or when dual sport motorcycles are riding on dirt of gravel roads. Motorcycles have brakes on the front and rear which are independent of each other, and riders may use the rear brake if they panic and need to stop or change directions quickly.
This is the difference in how anti-lock brakes work, with the brake regulating the amount of force attempting to stop the bike, and under normal circumstances, the driver would be prevented from using so much force on the brake that they lose control of their vehicle. With motorcycles, riders have to be able to stop suddenly with brakes and this may not be a viable option, whereas with cars it works perfectly because the brakes are controlled with a pedal rather than with two independent brake controls on the front and rear.
The data on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is certainly compelling, stating that motorcycles with anti-lock brakes had a thirty seven percent less likelihood of a crash becoming fatal. They also said that in a comparison between motorcycles with anti-locks and motorcycles without, those with had twenty two percent fewer insurance claims for damages in crashes in the same year. However, some believe that motorcycles equipped with anti-lock brakes could be the cause of a collision. If this is the case with you, then contact an attorney that works in motorcycle litigation. To speak with a motorcycle accident attorney call 800-300-0001.