Motorcyclists tend to be particularly vulnerable to injury in traffic accidents because, unlike drivers and passengers in cars and trucks, no vehicle body shields them. This can mean that safety features are even more vital on motorcycles than on other types of vehicles. Southern California motorcyclists might be safer if federal regulators require new vehicles with an antilock braking system (ABS). Over the past decade, several other countries have begun to require them, including Australia, India, Brazil, Japan and most of Europe.
Reducing accidents and fatalities
There is a substantial body of research that supports the effectiveness of ABS. More safety-conscious riders may be more likely to purchase bikes with equipment like ABS included, but one study controlled for overall claims to account for that possibility. There was still a 21 to 24% reduction in motorcycle collision claims, including the technology. Another study found that ABS reduced fatalities by 22%.
In 2023, manufacturers voluntarily included the technology in 59% of new motorcycles. The Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have requested that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration make including ABS on newly manufactured motorcycles the law. There is one concern that ABS can make bikes harder to handle on loose surfaces, but this could be solved if the regulations allowed for riders to turn it off at those times.
The danger of motorcycle accidents
It has been a decade since the HLDI and the IIHS first called on the NHTSA to require ABS, and at the time, there was already enough research to convince these agencies that the technology would save lives. This second request comes after motorcycle fatalities in 2021 hit an all-time high of 6,084. Non-fatal motorcycle accidents can still lead to serious injuries, and if you are involved in one, you can contact the Law Office of Aman N. Shah to discuss the situation and the next steps you should take to protect yourself.