The motorcycle is easily one of the most admired and romanticized vehicles in our country. While they typically represent freedom on the open road, they also present a higher risk of danger to its operator. From 2003 to 2012, there was a 6% spike in motorcycle related fatalities. It is a given that style and performance will always be on the checklist when you are looking to buy a motorcycle, making room on the list for safety will help you enjoy your motorcycle experience longer and give your family some peace of mind as you do. Motorcycle manufacturers, understanding the need to address safety in their machines, have introduced safety features that were only available to traditional automobiles and have implemented ways to ensure that you do not go unnoticed by other motorists on the road.
When shopping for your first or next motorcycle, a safety feature to be on the lookout for will be antilock brakes. The traditional breaking system for motorcycles is divided from the front and the rear of the bike. The biggest problem the traditional breaking system presents is that the bike can be sent out of control and eventually fall over if the brakes are hit too hard or if the wheels lock up. The other problem with this traditional braking system is the problem of not being able to stop the bike in time to prevent a crash because the brakes were applied too softly. Anti-lock brakes on motorcycles provide two key benefits to the rider:
1. It allows riders to reduce brake pressure if they feel a wheel lock up is pending, or
2. Apply the brakes with full force without worrying about a wheel lock up taking place.
If you need further convincing that anti-lock brakes are worth consideration, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety(IIHS), in their latest study, vouches for the safety benefits of having them. The IIHS determined that motorcycles are 37% less likely to be involved in a fatal crash than a motorcycle with a traditional breaking system.
Another safety feature to keep on the check list when shopping for a motorcycle is traction control. As motorcycle riders likely know already, one of the downsides of riding is knowing that the wheels only have a few square inches of contact to the road. That’s just one of the problems with motorcycle tires; sometimes the tires have lived beyond their effectiveness, and they can be under-inflated or have uneven wear. Some of the key benefits of having a motorcycle with traction control is mitigating factors leading to a loss of traction or excessive application of throttle. With traction control, sensors can detect when traction is lessened and if there is excessive throttle application or other errors on the part of the rider. For example, the traction control system can adjust engine performance to compensate for the loss of traction that the motorcycle’s sensors are detecting.
As obvious as the following is about to sound, it goes without saying that you cannot protect what you cannot see. While wearing dark clothes and being inconspicuous on your motorcycle may be chic and trendy, it puts you in greater danger on the road. Motorcyclists that wear lighter or more colorful gear are less likely to be hit by other motorists. Equipping your motorcycle to be seen and heard will not hurt either. There are lights to outfit your ride that can burn brighter and pulsate in order to catch the attention of an oncoming vehicle. In the event that you have to make a little noise to get noticed in traffic, there are air horns that can replace the stock horn on your motorcycle that will do the job in jolting drivers to pay attention to you.
If you or a loved one has suffered from a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another driver, or if you suspect a defective part on your motorcycle, do not hesitate to call the Law Offices of Michael Cordova for a free consultation.