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Antilock Braking Systems and Motorcycle Crashes

motorcycle accident

Evidence has shown that ABS (Antilock Braking Systems) is highly effective in preventing fatal motorcycle crashes. These systems prevent wheels from locking during ‘hard’ braking and reduce the rider’s fear of applying full braking force. Based on information from wheel speed sensors, the ABS unit adjusts the pressure of the brake fluid to maintain traction and avoid ‘fall downs.’ To prevent wheels from locking up, which can lead to loss of control and capsizing during hard braking, US motorcycle manufacturers are equipping motorcycles with ABS as an option or as standard equipment. The rate of fatal crashes is about 30% lower for motorcycles equipped with ABS than those without ABS.

ABS is available for all types of motorcycles including scooters, mopeds, heavy-duty touring bikes and powerful motorcycles. When tested, both new and experienced drivers stop much faster with ABS. Motorcycle riders understand that stopping a motorcycle is much different than applying brakes in a car. Most motorcycles have separate brake controls for the front and back wheels. With ABS, the brake pressure is automatically reduced when a lockup is going to occur and automatically increases again after regaining traction.

ABS does not affect normal braking and commonly comes into play in an emergency. The system itself weighs under two pounds so there is no effect on performance. Motorcyclists know that no matter how long you have been riding and no matter how skilled you are, you cannot predict if a driver ahead of you will slam on their brakes, or the road surface will suddenly become more slippery. About 5,000 people were killed in motorcycle crashes in 2016, so cutting down on the risk with an ABS is the right course of action.

Motorcycle ABS helps the driver to maintain stability when braking, decreases stopping distance, and provides traction on low friction surfaces. Both national and international organizations have determined that ABS is an important component of increasing safety and reducing accidents. The European Commission passed a law in 2012 that made ABS standard for all motorcycles above 125 cm starting in January 2016.

If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a motorcycle accident, call the experienced and knowledgeable attorneys at Marvin A. Cooper, P.C. We have been helping motorcycle accident victims for decades and we can help you too. Call us at 914-357-8911 or email for additional information.

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