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Antilock Brakes On Motorcycles Save Lives

Posted on October 23, 2008

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety finds that antilock brakes on motorcycles could save lives.

Antilock brakes are already found on cars and trucks. Typically they are found on touring bikes and a limited number of motorcycles. They add a cost of about $1,000.

Without them, riders who need to stop their bikes abruptly can lock up the wheels or fishtail. The Insurance Institute found that equipping motorcycles with them resulted in a 38 percent lower crash rate.

The Institute studied eight motorcycles with antilock brakes and found there were 6.6 fatal crashes per 10,000 registered motorcycles without antilock in 2005 and 2006. The bikes with antilocks had a 4.1 per 10,000 fatal crash rate. A second study found antilock brakes reduced collision claims by 21 percent.

“Even though adding antilocks won’;t make motorcycling as safe as going by car, it’;s something manufacturers can do to reduce the risk of traveling on two wheels instead of four,” said Adrian Lund, president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Nationally, more than 5,000 riding motorcycles died last year. A decade ago that number was 2,294. Motorcycle registrations have nearly doubled during that time.

On July 1, 2000, Florida exempted adult motorcyclist and moped riders from wearing helmets providing they have medical coverage of $10,000 are 21 years old. That resulted in an estimated 48 percent increase in motorcycle rider deaths in the year after the law changed.

In Florida from 2006 to 2007, more than 16 percent of all traffic fatalities were motorcyclists. 521 lost their lives, as well as 29 passengers of motorcycles, according to the Division of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

On July, 2008, a new Florida law requires every motorcycle rider to take a safety course before they start using the road.