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Are antilock brakes safe for motorcyclists?

A lot of motorcycles on American roads these days are equipped with antilock braking systems, and for an excellent reason. Research into fatal motorcycle crashes, test track performance and insurance claims indicate that antilock brakes improve motorcycle performance and help prevent accidents.

The best benefit of antilock braking systems is the fact that they offer a 31 percent lower chance of death in a motorcycle crash. These statistics come from comparing the same model of motorcycles that are equipped with ABS with those that are not. Furthermore, evidence shows that motorcycles that have ABS are 20 percent less likely to file accident claims with their insurance companies. Meanwhile, if the ABS motorcycles have combined controls, they are 31 percent less likely to file an insurance claim.

According to test track information, motorcycles with ABS can stop faster with both experienced and new motorcyclists driving them. Furthermore, when it comes to both wet and dry surfaces, the stopping distances are shorter.

The fact is, stopping a motorcycle is not as easy as it is to stop a car. A lot of variables can come into play that result in rear wheel drift, wheels locking up, skidding and other loss of control problems. These issues could result in a serious or fatal crash. However, ABS systems have been shown to reduce the chances of such calamities.

Riding a motorcycle is dangerous. Furthermore, when you consider that a lot of car drivers are not very careful around motorcyclists, bikers need all the help they can get to avoid a crash. In the event that an accident and injuries do occur, however, and if it happens as the result of another driver's negligence, it may be possible for the injured motorcyclist to pursue a personal injury action in civil court.

Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, "Antilock braking systems make riding safer," accessed April 08, 2016

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