Federal Regulators Delay Decision about Motorcycle Anti-Lock Brakes


According to statistics, injury and death on America’s roadways has escalated significantly over the past couple years. Many believe the rise to be tied to the availability of cheap gas, an incentive for people to spend more time on the road. Motorcycle safety advocates say the fatality rate among bikers has remained high, and say that federal regulators have failed to take action on a measure they believe would dramatically decrease the annual number of motorcycle-related deaths: the requirement that all bikes have anti-lock brake systems.

Anti-lock braking systems (ABS), which have been standard issue on most passenger vehicles for more than 25 years, prevent a vehicle’s wheels from locking up when the driver slams on the brakes. When wheels lock up, the driver has far less control and often cannot take any kind of evasive action. With anti-lock braking systems, a vehicle’s wheels will still turn, even though the vehicle speed is reduced.

Motorcycle safety groups have been asking the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to require anti-lock braking systems for years, but the NHTSA has thus far opted not to do so. A spokesperson for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimated that, with anti-lock braking systems installed on all motorcycles, the number of annual fatalities in bike accidents could be reduced by as much as 30%. Regulators were apparently close to making ABS mandatory on motorcycles almost a decade ago, but some regulators backed off, contending that there was “insufficient proof” that the systems were effective. Motorcycle safety groups have called this assertion “disingenuous.”

Though some motorcycle manufacturers have offered ABS as an option, BMW appears to be the only company in the United States to make it standard equipment on all bikes.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we bring over 30 years of experience to people in and around SF Bay Area who have been injured in a motorcycle accident. We built our practice on a strong commitment to personal service and attention. We’ll take the time to learn the unique aspects of your case, so that we can tailor our representation to get the outcome you want. When you hire us to help you pursue full and fair compensation for all your losses, Joe Nierenberg will work directly with you throughout the process.

To set up a free initial consultation with an experienced California motorcycle accident injury attorney, contact Weber & Nierenberg by e-mail or call our office at 1-866-288-6010.

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