Are Brakes a Factor in Motorcycle Accidents?

The number of motorcycle deaths is going up.  From 1997 to 2007, fatalities among motorcycle drivers and passengers more than doubled.  In 2007, there were 5,037 motorcycle deaths, which is the highest number of motorcyclists killed in one year.

There are many factors involved in motorcycle accidents.  Often times, a motorcycle crash is the result of the negligent actions of the other driver.  Drivers of passenger cars frequently do not give motorcyclists the space they need on the road and fail to lookout for motorcycles.  As a result, countless people are injured every year.  However, there is another common factor in motorcycle crashes and it has to do with motorcycle brakes.

Improper braking has been identified as a major pre-impact factor of motorcycle accidents.  Motorcycle brakes work differently than four-wheel vehicles.  There are generally separate controls for front and rear brakes.  When a motorcyclist brakes, he or she has to determine how much pressure to apply to each control.  Less experienced motorcyclists may have trouble making this quick decision.

Since motorcycles are less stable than other vehicles, hard braking can cause serious problems.  If a motorcyclist brakes too hard, the wheel can become locked, generating an unstable condition.

In response to the possible hazards of hard braking and under-braking, motorcycle manufacturers have created braking systems, known as combined braking systems (CBS), which apply braking force to both wheels when either control is utilized.  However, even with CBS, a wheel can still become locked.  More recently, antilock braking systems (ABS) have been included in motorcycles to help solve this problem.

ABS gives motorcyclists the ability to brake hard in an emergency, without fear of a wheel locking.  This system is supposed to monitor wheel speed and lower brake pressure when it detects an impending wheel lock.

Motorcycle accidents can be devastating.  If you or a loved one has been injured in a Florida motorcycle accident, you should contact an experienced Daytona Beach motorcycle accident lawyer at Johnson & Gilbert today at (800) 556-8890 for a free, no obligation consultation.