Those who ride know that there is nothing quite like seeing the world from the seat of a motorcycle. This up-close, open-air style of travel offers sights, smells, sounds, and sensations that drivers of enclosed passenger vehicles never get to experience. And the tilts, leans, turns, and curves that come with riding make many riders feel more connected to their vehicle and to the road beneath them.
But the same features which attract millions of motorcycle enthusiasts also make for substantial hazards on the roadways. Fortunately, creative and forward-thinking minds all over the world are hard at work innovating new ways to keep riders safe. Our Dallas, TX rider community can benefit from some of these advances both today and over the upcoming years. To learn more about ways to keep motorcyclists protected and what to do in case of an accident, contact a Dallas, TX motorcycle accident lawyer knowledgeable in motorcycle technology and safety.
Let’s take a quick look at five technology advancements motorcyclists should know about.
Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) Technology
You may be familiar with the term “V2V,” an acronym to describe the wireless exchange of information (generally, speed, position, and direction) from vehicle to vehicle. For the past several years, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has worked with the automotive industry to advance V2V communication systems, estimating that 615,000 motor vehicle crashes could be prevented using this technology.
For motorcyclists, this emerging communication technology could be a game-changer. One of the greatest dangers motorcyclists face is the threat of accidents occurring because larger vehicles do not see them. But with the aid of V2V messages which can traverse a range of over 300 meters, riders will have to worry less about being struck by other drivers. V2V messaging is additionally beneficial in that it can pass through traffic, inclement weather, terrain, and other obstructions which can obscure a motorcycle from sight.
Advanced Rider Assistance Systems (ARAS)
Several companies, including Honda, Bosch, BMW, Piaggio Fast Forward (PFF), and Ducati, are in various stages of completion of radar technology-based safety sensors which allow riders to operate their two-wheeled vehicles more safely. ARAS applications use front and rear radar sensors to detect and assess nearby objects, providing the information necessary to map out hazards and warn riders of potential perils. This radar-based advancement is able to take into account factors such as lighting, weather, traffic, and environmental factors, in addition to more motorcycle-specific elements such as vehicle size, lean angles and turning angles, and blind spots.
Anti-Lock Braking Systems (ABS)
Those who haven’t already invested in an ABS motorcycle may consider doing so in the near future. While it wasn’t always a safety feature standard on motorcycles, anti-lock braking systems are gaining popularity among riders and motorcycle manufacturers. It is also possible to install an ABS on the motorcycle you already own, and many riders are opting for this relatively low-maintenance safety modification.
An anti-lock braking system, which has traditionally been used in cars and other passenger vehicles, is designed to prevent a situation in which brakes lock and tires skid. Smart ABS models have reaction speeds much faster than human reflexes. Having an ABS bike can help maintain stability and prevent falls. It can also significantly shorten stopping distances, a critical factor in accident prevention. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) data analysis shows that motorcycles with ABS are 31% less likely to be involved in fatal crashes than the same motorcycle models without ABS.
A helmet is one of the most important safety devices a rider can own. And the growing number of options on the market for those purchasing motorcycle helmets highlights growing safety technologies, while simultaneously adding the smart functions riders want. New helmets offer increased visibility, improved skull protection, more lightweight comfort, superior shock-proof lining, cooler interiors, ease of movement, streamlined aerodynamics, and better sun and glare protection.
Some helmets are even fitted with crash detection technology, SOS beacons, advanced mirror systems, 360° view cameras, and emergency buttons to promote rider safety. For those looking for more unconventional features to enhance the riding experience, you can also find helmets equipped with speakers and microphones, Bluetooth technology, rider-to-rider communication, GPS and turn-by-turn directions, group intercoms, video recording, noise control, smartphone app support, voice commands, music-sharing functions, and Wi-Fi capability.
While the thrill of using a high-tech, function-heavy helmet can be enticing, it is important to make sure you are selecting a helmet that not only maximizes your enjoyment, but more importantly maximizes your safety. Know that exciting features can be distracting, and be sure you are choosing and using your helmet wisely. It is also necessary to be aware of your state’s motorcycle laws to ensure you are in full compliance. Texas Department of Transportation motorcycle helmet laws require all drivers and passengers under 21 to wear a qualified helmet, as well as those over 21 who have not met an eligible helmet exemption.
Airbag jackets, vests, pants, and suits are designed to reduce the trauma of impact for riders who fall or are thrown from their vehicles. Options range from lightweight articles worn over jackets to heavy-duty jumpsuits similar to the ones seen on racetracks. In the event of a crash, a protective airbag is deployed to form a shield around the body, particularly vulnerable areas such as the spine, chest, lungs, stomach, and kidneys.
Many of these protective clothing pieces resemble the durable gear traditionally worn by motorcyclists on the road, yet these advanced equipment offerings include air bladders which inflate within milliseconds after a collision. They are also extremely sensitive to environmental factors, equipped with multiple integrated sensors to monitor a rider’s position. Many versions help protect motorcyclists from the elements with waterproof exteriors and winterproof linings, and several models feature reflective stripes to increase visibility. Some vests and jackets even include smart technology using algorithms developed from data collected in races and lab-simulated crash scenarios.
A Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Who Knows Motorcycles
Despite advancing technology, accidents happen. And motorcyclists know that an accident can be extremely injurious or even fatal to riders whose vehicles offer very little physical protection, even with increased safety mechanisms. To make sure vehicle operation is at optimum safety, motorcyclists can refer to the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation (TDLR) 2020-2021 Motorcycle Operator Training Manual. Prevention is the best way to protect yourself from an accident.
But we know that there are countless factors out of your control on the road. For those who have been injured in a motorcycle accident, Buckingham & Vega Law Firm is ready to represent you. A Dallas, TX motorcycle accident lawyer who knows motorcycles can help you financially recover from a damaging, injury-causing accident. Reach out today and we will set up a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your motorcycle accident case.