Lack of Anti-Lock Brakes Systems Means Needless Motorcycle Accident Fatalities in Georgia


February 04, 2011

People that ride motorcycles know that bikes lack many of the protections of a car, truck or SUV. Motorcycles offer less structural protection, less stability and a smaller margin for error. Anyone who chooses a motorcycle as their mode of transportation knows that these safety differences are somewhat unavoidable. However, the failure of motorcycle manufacturers to adopt anti-lock braking systems (ABS) has increased this inherent risk.

Although ABS systems have been standard in most cars, trucks and SUVs for years, motorcycle manufacturers were slow to add this important safety feature. Motorcycle braking system defects have been at the center of motorcycle accident lawsuits for many years. Defective braking systems can increase stopping distance and a rider's ability to maintain control of a motorcycle when engaging in emergency evasive maneuvers. Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, has been representing motorcycle enthusiasts who suffer serious injury or wrongful death in Georgia motorcycle accidents for over 25 years. Because we routinely handle serious motorcycle accidents, we have seen countless numbers of motorcycle accidents and fatalities that might have been avoided if the manufacturers had installed ABS systems.

Despite compelling evidence that ABS systems can both prevent motorcycle accidents and reduce motorcycle fatalities, as noted above, the motorcycle industry was slow to adopt this important life saving feature. Japanese motorcycle manufacturers did not start offering anti-lock brake systems even as an optional feature until 2005. Harley Davidson did not start equipping their motorcycles with ABS until 1998. This means there are thousands of motorcycles on the road without this critical safety feature. An insurance industry study conducted in 2008 found that a motorcycle without ABS is 35 percent more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than a motorcycle that is equipped with ABS.

ABS is designed to prevent a driver of a motor vehicle from locking up the brakes and losing control of the vehicle. Anti-lock brake systems recognize when the brakes are about to be locked up during sudden emergency situations when a rider slams on the brakes, and the system decreases the brake pressure until tire traction has been restored. A rider may have very little time to respond when confronted with a road hazard. ABS permits a rider to brake hard to avoid a collision without the same risk and fear that the rider will lock up the brakes causing the rider to lose control of the motorcycle.

It is somewhat ironic that motorcycle manufacturers have been particularly slow to adopt ABS given that a person operating a motorcycle is more vulnerable to being involved in a collision and being seriously injured than drivers of cars, trucks and SUVs. Unlike other vehicles which require only the decision to depress the brake pedal, motorcycle riders must respond to an emergency by operating the front and rear brakes separately deciding in an instant how much to engage each set of brakes. A small miscalculation in how much to engage the rear or front brakes can mean the difference between a fatal motorcycle accident and a near miss. Given the other unique characteristics of a motorcycle that make operators vulnerable, including lack of stability and structural protection, the delay by motorcycle manufacturers in making ABS a standard feature has needlessly put many Georgia motorcycle riders at an increased risk of being involved in a serious motorcycle accident.

At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we have been representing those who suffer serious injury or wrongful death in motorcycle accidents in Atlanta and throughout Georgia for a quarter of a century. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, we are prepared to stand behind you and represent you in seeking the compensation you deserve. Our experienced Georgia motorcycle accident attorneys are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located we are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24 hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.