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Study: Antilock brakes prevent motorcycle fatalities

April 6, 2010
Filed under Features

A new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) indicates motorcycles with antilock brakes are 37 percent less likely to be in fatal crashes per 10,000 registered vehicle years.

In addition, a separate analysis of insurance claims filed for damage to motorcycles, which was conducted by the affiliated Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), showed bike models with antilocks have 22 percent fewer claims for damage per insured vehicle year. (A vehicle year is one vehicle insured for one year, two insured for six months, etc.)

“Motorcycle antilocks do make a difference,” Anne McCartt, senior vice president for research at IIHS, said in a release. “They help make traveling on two wheels less risky by reducing the chance of overturning a bike and crashing.”

IIHS researchers compared the fatal crash experience of antilock-equipped motorcycles against their non-antilock counterparts during 2003-’08. HLDI did the same for insurance losses for the same group of motorcycles. HLDI also looked at injury claims. Under medical payment coverage, motorcycles with antilocks registered 30 percent lower claim frequencies than bikes without this feature. Claim frequencies were 33 percent lower under bodily injury liability coverage.

More than half of motorcycle owners recently surveyed by the IIHS said they would get antilocks on their next bikes, and buyers can find them on at least 60 new models.

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