Over braking continues to be a common factor in motorcycle accidents among both new and veteran bikers. Even pressing the brake slightly over the maximum forces the wheel to lock, which will make the motorcycle tumble and throw the driver off. The split-second reaction of braking too hard could be the difference between life and death in a motorcycle accident.
Benefits of Anti-Lock Brake Systems on Motorcycles
Standard for American cars, Anti-lock brake systems (ABS) have been available to motorcycles since 1988. This safety feature enables a vehicle to stop quickly, without locking the wheels. The ABS works by sensing the wheel rotation per second. If the driver brakes too hard, the ABS regulates the excessive pressure into pulses. With the brakes being controlled, the wheels will come to a stop as quickly as possible—keeping the motorcycle upright and driving forward.
Does Your Bike Have ABS?
Motorcycle manufacturers have increasingly been including ABS on their newer models, but don’t assume that your motorcycle has it. Manufacturers are hesitant to make it a standard—arguing that adding another safety system is just another risk of malfunction and another expense. Some manufacturers have even been known to cut costs by not including ABS on their American models. It would be negligent for a dealership or manufacturer not to inform you that your motorcycle does not have the life-saving ABS system, but it wouldn’t hurt to check to see if your bike is equipped with the safety feature. Motorcycles with ABS are 37 percent less likely to be involved in fatal accidents than those without it. It is important to know if you are protected on the road.
Motorcycle Safety Requirements
The European Parliament is in the process of making it mandatory to equip all motorcycles with ABS; it should be completely in effect by 2016. This has generated some interest and in United States. Some are debating that ABS should not come standard because bikers should be skilled enough to know exactly how much pressure to put on their brake, even using a skid to avoid collision.
Motorcycle safety advocates hope that the ruling in Europe will influence other countries, making ABS a worldwide standard. While many experts -including the American Motorcycle Association- agree that it would be extremely beneficial equip all motorcycles with ABS, it is not yet required by law in the US.
In a Motorcycle Accident
Any skilled biker would tell you to be careful when braking, but the technology is available to protect you if you make the wrong split-second decision. If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, there are a lot of important questions to ask regarding your motorcycle’s ABS. Did you under brake or over brake in an attempt to avoid a collision? Was your motorcycle equipped with ABS? Were you made aware if it didn’t have the feature? Make sure you know whether or not your bike has ABS, and if it doesn’t, make sure you are taking the proper precautions; it could save your life.
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, the damages can be catastrophic. Contact a St. Louis motorcycle accident attorney at Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers right away.