Should ABS be required for motorcycles?

On Behalf of | Jan 8, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Each year around the country, several thousand motorcycle accidents occur. Many of these crashes result in serious injuries or deaths because of the little protection Georgia bikers have from the forces released in collisions. Motorcycles lack many of the safety features found in passenger vehicles. While anti-lock braking systems (ABS) are standard features on most modern passenger cars, they are optional on motorcycles.

Call for ABS mandate on motorcycles

The Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) have called on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to mandate the installation of ABS on motorcycles for the past 10 years. The organizations have conducted studies indicating that bikes with ABS optionally installed were much less likely to be involved in injury and fatality accidents. While countries in the EU, Australia, and others have all mandated ABS on motorcycles, the U.S. has continued to leave it up to the manufacturers. While many manufacturers have voluntarily included ABS on motorcycles, between 30% and 40% of new motorcycles still do not have these systems. This is despite the fact that research has shown that bikes with ABS installed have fatality rates 22% lower than motorcycles without ABS and reduced claims for motor vehicle accidents involving motorcycles.

Why ABS hasn’t been mandated

The NHTSA has been slow to move on mandating ABS on motorcycles. One reason is that ABS can leave motorcycles less stable when they travel over gravel or other loose surfaces. However, proponents point out that motorcycles could have an off switch to allow motorcyclists to disengage ABS when traveling over these types of surfaces.

Mandating ABS on motorcycles could lead to a significant drop in injuries and fatalities. By preventing the brakes from locking up as a motorcycle suddenly comes to a stop, ABS can help cyclists to maintain control and potentially prevent accidents.