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Auto Technology Would Help Reduce Motorcycle Fatalities

Vehicle safety technology and crash prevention systems not only save motorist lives, but they also help prevent fatal motorcycle accidents.  As the roads in Atlanta get more and more crowded, the number of motorcycles to passenger vehicles will also continue to rise which will only increase the risk of serious accidents and injuries if both motorists are not fully alert and paying attention to their surroundings.

According to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, more than 8,000 motorcycle accidents every year could be prevented if more passenger vehicles came equipped with lane maintenance systems, front collision prevention systems, and other devices that are designed to identify motorcycles in their path.

Many of these crash avoidance systems are currently available on several models of cars, SUVs and pickups.  There are different types of these systems available, but they generally work using devices like cameras and sensors to look out for motorcycles in the environment, and to intervene if the driver fails to take action to prevent an accident.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety researchers evaluated accidents that occurred between 2011 and 2015 which involved motorcycles and another vehicle. Most accidents involving motorcyclists were caused by visibility problems, such as when a driver fails to see the motorcyclist in time to prevent an accident. The researchers were especially looking at accidents that could have been prevented using front crash prevention systems, lane maintenance devices, and blind spot detection systems.

According to the researchers, front crash prevention systems would have been useful in preventing 2% of fatal accidents, and 10% of nonfatal accidents. Accidents that could have been prevented using lane maintenance devices accounted for approximately 4% of all the fatal accidents and 3 percent of the nonfatal accidents. Accidents that could have been prevented by blind spot detection devices accounted for 1% of nonfatal accidents and 6% of non-fatal accidents.

Overall, according to the researchers, these three safety technologies combined could have prevented as many as 10% of all fatal accidents involving a motorcycle and a motor vehicle. They could also have prevented 90% of all nonfatal accidents resulting in injuries, and 20% of all accidents reported to the police.

These technologies are currently available only on passenger vehicles, but the researchers speculate that such technology would also be very beneficial if made available on most motorcycles.  Earlier research has confirmed the benefits of motorcycle safety technology. One study found that fatal accident rates dropped by 31% when motorcycles were equipped with antilock braking systems, compared to motorcycles that did not have these systems. More accidents could likely be prevented if motorcycles also came equipped with lane departure warning systems and other devices.

Obviously, no amount of crash protection technology can make up for failure to wear a helmet or other types of protective gear while riding. No matter how technologically advanced motorcycles become, a motorcyclist must always wear a helmet to minimize the risk of serious head injuries in an accident.

The Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyers at the Katz Law Firm represent persons injured in motorcycle accidents across Georgia.