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Directions in Highway Safety Cover - Summer 2010 Download Newsletter pdf
[2.7 MB, 12 pgs.]

Summer 2010 | Vol. 12 | No. 4

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IIHS Seeks Antilock Brakes on New Motorcycles

The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) has asked NHTSA to require motorcycle manufacturers to equip all new motorcycles with antilock braking systems (ABS). The recommendation is the result of a series of IIHS studies demonstrating that antilock breaks significantly reduce motorcycle crashes.

Specifically, IIHS requested Administrator David Strickland to amend Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 122, Motorcycle Brake Systems, to require antilock braking systems (ABS) on motorcycles.

In its Final Vehicle Safety Rulemaking and Research Priority Plan 2009- 2011, NHTSA had indicated it was looking into the ABS requirement but needed additional data and analysis before moving forward. IIHS said its recent studies demonstrate the statistically significant benefits of motorcycle ABS necessary for implementation of the requirement.

Recent IIHS research found that motorcycles with antilock breaking systems are 37 percent less likely to be in fatal crashes (per 10,000 registered vehicle years) versus those without. A separate study by the IIHS affiliate Highway Loss Data Institute showed that bike models with ABS have 22 percent fewer claims for crash damage per insured vehicle year than the same models without antilocks.

IIHS president Adrian Lund said these recent studies provide “compelling evidence that antilocks reduce fatal crash risk and lower insurance losses … NHTSA has what it needs to move forward with a regulation.”

The IIHS letter to NHTSA is available online at: