Thursday, April 01, 2010

ABS reduces the incidence of motorcycle crashes, rider training probably doesn’t!

Honda Fireblade with ABSSuzuki GSX-R1000
ABS helps reduce the incidence of motorcycle accidents, but rider training doesn't...!?!

According to the results of a study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in the US, anti-lock brakes (ABS) for motorcycles reduce the chances of crashing. The study indicates that motorcycles equipped with ABS are 37% less likely to be involved in a fatal crash. A separate analysis by the affiliated Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) also says that bikes with ABS have 22% fewer claims for damage per insured vehicle year.

That ABS would reduce the chances of motorcycle accidents is hardly surprising, but here comes a shocker – according to another report recently prepared by HLDI, the frequency of insurance collision claims for riders younger than 21 was 10% higher in States that require riders to take a training course before they become eligible for a motorcycle riders license, compared with States that don't require such training! This essentially contradicts the belief that rider training is an absolute must for motorcyclists and that it helps reduce the incidence of accidents.

Despite the findings of the HLDI report, we still fully, completely support rider training. Regardless of what country you live in, if you’re getting started with motorcycles, first find a good institute that imparts high quality motorcycle rider training and then pay attention to what they teach you there. And, of course, always wear a helmet!

For more details, visit the IIHS website here

Via The Wall Street Journal


Jeremiah H said...

Ok, let's look at which bikes were offered with before this latest round of ABS sportbikes.
Mostly long distance tourers, right?
Has anyone looked at the likely hood of a tourer getting into an accident vs. a sportbike?
I am willing to bet that the figures closely match these ABS claims.
Not that I think ABS isn't safer; I just want these statistics to be put into perspective.

SpaceWeasel said...

Jeremiah: The stats appear to compare like to like. From the news release (I didn't take the time to read the full study)
"Bike models with antilocks have 22 percent fewer claims for damage per insured vehicle year (a vehicle year is 1 vehicle insured for 1 year, 2 insured for 6 months, etc.) than the same models without antilocks."

Of note were also their findings on helmets and helmet laws:
"Motorcyclists in states that require all riders to wear helmets are less likely to file insurance claims for medical treatment after collisions, compared with riders in states without helmet laws or where the laws apply to some but not all riders. Helmets reduce head injuries, the leading cause of death among unhelmeted riders."

"Seventy-three percent of riders surveyed said they always wear a helmet, and 9 percent said they often wear one. Five percent said they never do. Riders of sport, supersport, and sport touring bikes were most likely to say they always wear a helmet. Riders 18-29 and those 50 and older were more likely to say they always ride helmeted, compared with motorcyclists in their 30s and 40s."

I find it interesting that the youngest and oldest riders more likely to wear a helmet. I wonder what the socio-economic reasons behind this might be.



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