Study Reveals ABS Reduces Motorcycle Fatalities by 22%

Study Reveals ABS Reduces Motorcycle Fatalities by 22% - Motorcycle Magazine - Racext 1

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Study Reveals ABS Reduces Motorcycle Fatalities by 22%

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If you are looking for high quality products for your car or motorbike, look no further. We are sure you will find the perfect product for you at Racext. Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or requests. We are here to help you make your vehicle perfect.A recent study in the insurance industry compared identical motorcycle models with and without anti-lock braking systems (ABS). The findings revealed that ABS reduces fatal motorcycle accidents by 22%.

This study, conducted by Eric R. Teoh and published by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), is the third of its kind from the same researcher. Previous studies in 2011 and 2013 showed an even greater reduction in accidents due to ABS. The core message remains the same: ABS significantly reduces fatal accidents.

Overview of the Study

The study analyzed data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) managed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, covering the years 2003 to 2019. FARS tracks fatal crashes on public roads. Teoh identified 65 motorcycle models sold with optional ABS and compared the number of fatal crashes between ABS-equipped and non-ABS models of the same make. ABS-equipped motorcycles were identified by their Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs).

By comparing identical models with and without ABS, the study avoided the potential bias of comparing different types of motorcycles and riding styles. The results showed 5.7 fatal crashes per 10,000 vehicle years (the number of vehicles and years on the road) for ABS-equipped motorcycles, versus 7.4 per 10,000 for those without ABS.

Limitations and Considerations

There are limitations to what can be learned from this study, and it’s worth considering a few key points:

  1. The population of motorcycles that can be purchased with or without ABS is not representative of all motorcycles on U.S. roads. For instance, cruisers and standard motorcycles are underrepresented in this sample.
  2. Various countries, including EU members, Taiwan, Australia, Brazil, and others, mandate ABS on at least some road motorcycles. In the U.S., 56% of 2020 model year registered motorcycles had ABS as standard, with another 26% having it as an option.
  3. It’s theorized that riders who pay extra for ABS are more safety-conscious and thus less likely to crash anyway. Conversely, a study on car drivers found that some take more risks due to the increased sense of security from ABS and other aids like stability control. Teoh’s study examined other recorded risk factors and found no significant differences between ABS and non-ABS riders, except that speed was slightly more likely to be a factor in fatal crashes among non-ABS riders.
  4. Using FARS, the study only examines crashes where someone died. This level of scrutiny isn’t applied to many other non-fatal motorcycle crashes, which might tell a slightly different story.

Finally, it’s worth noting that the IIHS supports mandatory ABS and has taken controversial stances on high-performance motorcycles in the past. While this doesn’t necessarily undermine the study, it’s fair to consider.

The Real Purpose of ABS

Some might argue, “I’ve ridden for 40 years without ABS and don’t need an electronic nanny,” or “Learn to brake properly with your right hand; that’s your ABS!” However, ABS isn’t just for those lacking good braking technique. It’s for those unexpected moments when you’re riding home after dark and can’t see the sand, spilled diesel, or other hazards on the road. It’s for those sudden, panic-inducing situations that require perfect braking technique from a less-than-perfect human.

Take my own experience, for instance. Thirteen years ago, on a cold April morning, I was riding to work on a city street when a woman in a car suddenly stopped in front of me to rush into McDonald’s for breakfast. Cold tires, unexpected threat, insert other excuses here. The result was that I locked up the front wheel and went down.

No injuries. Minimal damage. But ABS would have prevented it. Perfect braking technique would have prevented it, too, and the technique I used would have been perfect on a warm, sunny afternoon. But it wasn’t on that cold morning. Just something to think about.

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Study Reveals ABS Reduces Motorcycle Fatalities by 22%


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