When purchasing a motorcycle, you will probably base your decision on details such as engine displacement and speed capability. However, studies have now shown that there is one feature all motorcyclists should add to their bike requirements: antilock brakes.

Antilock Brakes Reduce Crash Risks for San Bernardino Motorcyclists

One of the biggest dangers of motorcycle riding is the potential for serious head injury—especially if the biker loses control while attempting to brake. Although helmet use is encouraged and even required, a brain that strikes another object at speed is still not likely to recover without some kind of damage.

Antilock braking systems (ABS) can help protect a rider from head injury by preventing the motorcycle’s wheels from locking up, allowing the rider to stay on the bike when traction is lost. According to a new study by the Highway Loss Data Institute and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, ABS is incredibly effective at preventing serious and fatal bike crashes for:

  • Risk-takers. To find out if risk-taking played a role in avoidable crashes, the HLDI study compared crash rates for bikers who had also made car collision claims in the past. Although riders who had a high rate of car claims had motorcycle claim rates 64 percent higher than other bikers, ABS still reduced the frequency of risk-taking collisions by 20 percent.

  • Safe riders. Safe riders enjoyed a slightly lower injury rate than risk-taking riders, which the study authors believe is due to a combination of factors. Riders with fewer claims are less likely to perform dangerous maneuvers, but are also more likely to purchase a bike with optional ABS.

  • All riders. While antilock braking systems have been shown to be effective in reducing crash injuries, they are sadly not a standard feature on many bikes. It is currently up to a rider to ensure his own safety by making sure his motorcycle is equipped with the technology.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) found that antilock brakes reduced motorcycle crashes significantly. Antilock brakes and a combined braking system that integrates the front and back brakes are even safer, as the following statistics indicate:

  • Fatalities were 31 percent less likely than for motorcycles without these brakes.
  • Collision claims were 20 percent less frequent and injury claims 28 percent less frequent than for motorcycles without these brakes.
  • Collision claims were 30 percent less frequent for motorcycles that had both antilock brakes and the combined braking system.

If someone you love suffered a brain injury in a motorcycle accident, we can help. Click the contact link on this page to tell us your story, and we will explain what to do next to protect your family member’s future.


Peter Steinberg
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Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Since 1982
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