Safety Experts Urge Regulators to Mandate Antilock Braking Systems on Motorcycles
Riding motorcycles is a lot more dangerous than driving in a passenger vehicle, which is already a perilous endeavor. According to some safety experts, however, there are steps that federal regulators could be taking to help protect vulnerable road users, like motorcyclists, one of which is to start mandating the use of antilock braking systems (ABS) on all new motorcycles manufactured in the U.S.
Official Petition Filed with the NHTSA
Ten years ago, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) submitted a petition to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), asking the agency to consider mandating the use of ABS on motorcycles. While many manufacturers started voluntarily increasing the production of motorcycles with ABS as standard equipment, no official steps were taken by federal regulators. Recently, IIHS and HLDI filed a second petition, again requesting that the agency adopt new regulations to address the 40 percent of new U.S. motorcycles that still lack ABS technology.
How ABS Could Help
Motorcyclist crash fatalities reached an all-time high in 2021, with 6,084 people losing their lives. Safety experts believe that adopting regulations specific to motorcycles can help address this alarming trend. For instance, experts argue that automatic braking technologies help riders maintain control over their vehicles, even when they are required to brake suddenly or must brake on a slippery surface. According to these specialists, installing antilock braking systems technologies will prevent the kinds of crashes that typically start with a motorcyclist skidding out of control. Furthermore, the use of an off switch to disable ABS when riding on loose surfaces could address concerns that the technology will worsen handling problems on gravel.
What the Numbers Show
The evidence in support of the IIHS’ petition is compelling and even stronger than that presented in 2013. One recent study, for instance, showed that the rate of fatal crashes for motorcycles with optional ABS are as much as 22 percent lower than the same models that aren’t equipped with that technology. Further HLDI research showed similar results, demonstrating that the rate of collision insurance claims for motorcycles with ABS are between 21 and 24 percent lower than other models. In this study, HDLI controlled for the rider’s claim rates, disproving the allegation that ABS only has benefits because safer riders use it.
Schedule a Meeting with Our Experienced Tulsa Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
Until federal regulators begin requiring all manufacturers to install ABS on their new motorcycles, accidents caused by skidding will continue to happen. If you or a loved one were injured in such a crash, you could be entitled to compensation for your losses. Speak with one of the experienced Tulsa motorcycle accident lawyers at Levinson Law, P.C. about your case today. You can reach us by calling our office at 918-492-4433 or by completing one of our brief online contact forms. If you are unable to travel to our office, we are happy to come meet you at your location.