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Study: Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) May Decrease Risk of Motorcycle Crashes by 20-30%

As a Hudson Valley personal injury law firm, we have analyzed the top causes of motorcycle crashes and injuries in Dutchess, Orange and Ulster Counties. In all three counties, unsafe speeds, driver inattention, and being followed too closely were the top causes of accidents. As a motorcyclist, it can feel like one is at the complete mercy of road conditions and drivers being attentive and lawful; however, there are some things that motorcyclists can do to be even safer. 

One of the ways motorcyclists can be safer to prevent crashes is to have a motorcycle that features an anti-lock braking system (ABS). According to a recent study issued by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the same models of motorcycles with anti-lock brakes were involved in 22% fewer fatal crashes than motorcycles with normal brakes. This result, the third of its kind by the same researcher, tracks alongside the two similar studies that were conducted in 2011 and 2013, which found fatality reductions in the 30% range.

According to the researcher, there are 65 models of motorcycles that have optional anti-lock braking systems. The ABS motorcycles had 5.7 fatal crashes per 10,000 registered vehicle years, and the non-ABS motorcycles had 7.4 fatal crashes per 10,000 registered vehicle years.

Why are ABS Motorcycles Safer?

Anti-lock braking systems prevent motorcycle brakes from locking up. Locked-up brakes can cause skidding; an ABS unit’s function is to monitor wheel speed and to decrease brake pressure slightly when the wheel is locking up. This will allow the wheel to spin, not skid, while braking pressure is reapplied. Overall, this means that a rider with an ABS can safely stop (without skidding) in more situations than a rider without an ABS; especially if the rider is inexperienced. It may also reduce braking distances.

ABS work best on paved, hard surfaces in dry conditions; it is not ideal for off-road biking. It is also suggested that riders who opt for ABS motorcycles may be more cautious overall, leading to the slight reduction in crash fatalities.

How to get your bills paid after a motorcycle crash

Whether you have ABS or not, motorcycle crashes do happen. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle crash with a car, you are not covered by the driver’s insurance. The only way to recover compensation for your lost wages, medical bills and other expenses is to file a personal injury lawsuit:

To learn more about your legal options after a motorcycle crash, call us at 845-600-0000 to schedule a free consultation at our personal injury offices in Kingston, NY and Poughkeepsie, NY.