Antilock brake systems reduce motorcycle crash claims: study

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Arlington, VA – Motorcycles with antilock brake systems may compensate for beginners’ mistakes, as well as help experienced riders stay safer, according to a study (.pdf file) from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Highway Loss Data Institute.

Researchers compared crash insurance claims made by users of motorcycles with and without ABS for 22 models launched between 2003 and 2012. They found that during the first 90 days of an insurance policy period, riders with ABS-equipped motorcycles were 30 percent less likely to report a crash than users of bikes without ABS. For 91-720 days of an insurance policy period, users of ABS-equipped motorcycles were 19 percent less likely to make a claim.

“While not all motorcyclists with new insurance policies are novices, those in the later period invariably have at least three months of riding under their belt, so the 19 percent reduction is a key finding,” HLDI Vice President Matt Moore said.

Overall, riders of models with ABS were 23 percent less likely to make insurance crash claims.

The study was published in the May issue of IIHS's Status Report.

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