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Motorcycles And Antilock Brakes

Posted by Jane Akre
Thursday, April 08, 2010 3:53 PM EST
Category: On The Road
Tags: Motorcycles, Collision, Antilock Brakes, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Antilock brakes on motorcycles appear to be saving lives, according to two reports.


IMAGE SOURCE: Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) – Report on Antilock Brakes

Antilock Brakes

Want a safer ride on a motorcycle?

Ride one equipped with antilock brakes, say two reports on motorcycle safety.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that antilock brakes are 37 percent less likely to be involved in a fatal crash. The measurements were calculated using 10,000 registered vehicle years.

Another measure - the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) – finds that bikes with antilock have 22 percent fewer claims than bikes without antilock brakes and 30 percent lower claim frequencies.

That was calculated per insured vehicle year or one vehicle for one year.

As more people take up motorcycles and forgo their vehicles, they should consider the statistics.

Deaths topped 5,000 in 2008 at the same time that there was an upswing in ridership – 7.7 million in 2008, almost double the riders from the year 2000, according to R.L. Polk and Company Data.

From 1997 to 2008, motorcycle fatalities rose 150% from 2,116 to 5,290 according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Why Antilock Brakes?

In a situation that requires a fast stop the rider has two options- he can brake hard or slowly. Either way has a downside as he front and rear wheel usually have separate controls.

Braking hard can cause a rider to spill when the wheels lock up, while holding back can lead to a collision. Antilock brakes reduce the brake pressure when a lockup is imminent and return brake pressure when traction is restored, reports IIHS. With antilock brakes, a rider can hit the brake fully without the chance they will lock up because the brake pressure is read constantly.

Manufacturers are responding to the public demand and 60 new models have antilock brakes. IIHS polled 1,818 riders by phone and found that 54% said they would get antilock brakes on their next motorcycle.

The same poll found that:

  • 43 % said they had been in at least one accident

  • Two-thirds reported they had been in a single-vehicle crash, ie; their own motorcycle

  • 73% said they always wear a helmet

  • 5% said they never do

  • Riders in the age groups 18-to-29, and 50 and older were the most likely to wear a helmet

  • Riders in their 20s and 40s were least likely to

  • Half responded they do not favor universal helmet laws #

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