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Do anti-lock brakes prevent motorcycle accidents?

Most motorcycle enthusiasts in the New Orleans area probably understand that the safety features on a motorcycle pale in comparison to those on cars and trucks. For that reason, and others, riding a motorcycle is inherently much more dangerous than riding in a larger and more secure vehicle. But just because riding carries some known risks does not mean that motorcyclists are not concerned with making riding as safe as possible.

One safety feature that is available on some motorcycles is an anti-lock braking system (ABS). But some riders may wonder whether ABS is realty worth it when it comes to preventing motorcycle accidents.

According to studies and data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), motorcycles that have ABS have a fatal crash rate that is 31 percent lower than those motorcycles without. Likewise, the IIHS points to other studies that show that both new and more experienced riders are able to stop their motorcycles quicker when the bike is equipped with ABS. Faster stopping times can, of course, reduce accidents and prevent serious injuries.

Unlike conventional braking systems that can lock during hard braking, ABS is designed to change braking pressure automatically so that the wheels do not lock up. This means that if a driver in another vehicle does something that requires the motorcyclist to brake hard to avoid an accident, the rider can do so without worrying about taking a bad fall from the wheels locking.

Motorcyclists should always be vigilant about safety, and a motorcycle with ABS can provide some added safety benefits. However, even the best braking systems cannot prevent all motorcycle accidents, many of which are the result of no fault of the rider, but are instead caused by negligent drivers in other vehicles.

Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, "Antilock braking systems make riding safer," Accessed on Nov. 18, 2015

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