Posted On: November 16, 2008 by Christopher T. Hurley

Insurance study shows ABS cuts rider deaths and bike damage

The Chicago Tribune is reporting that antilock brakes could help motorcycle riders avoid fatal crashes. A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says the fatal crash rate involving motorcycles with optional ABS was 38 percent lower than the rate involving similar cycles without the systems.

ABS, like its counterparts on cars and trucks, helps riders stop their bikes abruptly without locking the wheels or fishtailing. The system allows riders to brake both wheels in an emergency without hitting the pavement. ABS is typically found on touring bikes and has been available on a limited number of motorcycles since 1988.

As of late, there has been a steady rise in motorcycle deaths--more than 5,100 cyclists died in 2007, compared with 2,294 in 1998. In one report focusing on the 2005-2006 time period, researchers studied eight motorcycles that offered ABS and found 6.6 fatal crashes per 10,000 registered motorcycles without ABS and 4.1 per 10,000 with ABS. In a second study that looked at Honda, Suzuki, Triumph and Yamaha bikes found insurance losses were 21 percent lower for motorcycles with ABS than for bikes without.

ABS is standard or optional on about 40 motorcycles from the 2008 model year including bikes manufactured by BMW, Harley-Davidson and Honda.

Comments about this post can be directed to Cook County Personal Injury Attorney Christopher Hurley at (312) 553- 4900.

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