Can Improvements in Vehicle Safety Make the Roads Safer for Motorcyclists?
There is no dispute that motorcycle riders face a greater risk of accidents resulting in serious injuries and even wrongful death. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that approximately 72 out of every 100,000 registered motorcycle are involved in fatal crashes whereas only 13 in every 100,000 cars are involved in fatal collisions. Unfortunately, the dangers that face motorcyclists seem to be increasing because the percentage of fatal motorcycle collisions are on the rise while sales of motorcycles substantially declined. There may be good news on the way, though, as changes in the motor vehicle safety features of all vehicles may soon make the roads safer for riders.
There is a specific change to motorcycles that may protect them in accidents. A number of companies are experimenting with "air bags" for motorcycles. There are a number of different versions of motorcycle air bag prototypes. Some inflate from the under the handlebars of the bike while others are worn like a jacket and inflate around a rider in the event of a motorcycle collision. The idea is to provide a protective barrier between the rider and the hard surface of the roadway. While these and are not yet feasible for the retail market. However, it is safe to assume that as technology improves, these types of equipment may become standard on motorcycles.
The safety equipment that offers the most promise for motorcyclists at the present is actually installed on passenger vehicles. More passenger vehicles are coming equipped with collision avoidance systems. While there are a multitude of kinds of crash avoidance systems, they alert a driver with an alarm when the movement of a vehicle is projected to result in an impending collision.
A classic example of how this type of technology might make motorcyclists safer involve the scenario where a driver of a passenger vehicle making a lane change after failing to check for a motorcycle in the passenger vehicle driver's blind spot. Situations where a motorcyclist has clearly established his or her position in a lane and is struck by a driver who executes an unsafe lane change when the driver fails to turn his or her head and look for smaller motorcycles is common. This type of collision prevention technology could go a long way to prevent such collisions.
Another type of safety feature, which is currently being developed and may soon be routinely installed in many passenger vehicles, is anti-distraction systems. Again, the prototypes vary greatly but the basic idea is that the technology senses when a vehicle seems to be drifting from its lane and may even monitor the driver's typical behavior so that it can sound a warning when the driver appears to be acting fatigued or distracted. While distracted drivers, such as drivers that engage in text messaging, put all other motorists at risk, the danger is greater for motorcyclists because they have less margin for error and need more time to respond to sudden driving emergencies.
While eventually motorcycle accident and fatality rates will improve as these safety features become more widely incorporated in new vehicles, anyone who rides a bike will always be more vulnerable to the negligence of other drivers than those who drive passenger cars, trucks and SUVs.
Contact Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law Today to Schedule Your Free Consultation
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you should consider speaking with a Georgia Motorcycle Accident and Injury Attorney at Montlick & Associates as soon as possible. Motorcycle accidents can leave you with excessive medical bills, lost income, and an uncertain future. At Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law, our firm has more than 37 years of experience helping injured individuals from all over Georgia.
If you would like to discuss your or a loved one's personal injuries with one of our Georgia Motorcycle Accident Lawyers, contact Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law today by calling (800) LAW-NEED (529-6333) to schedule your free consultation. You may also visit us online at www.montlick.com to complete a Free Case Evaluation Form, and you may also participate in a 24-hour Live Online Chat.
Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law
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