Motorcycle accidents may make up just a small percentage of all motor vehicle collisions in Virginia, but statistics show that these are among the deadliest incidents. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles’ publication on Traffic Crash Facts reports that there were 1,960 motorcycle accidents 2019, representing just 1.5 percent of all traffic-related collisions for that year. However, there were 89 fatalities and 1,638 victims injured, accounting for both riders and passengers. According to these numbers, that means more than 88 percent of motorcycle crashes result in serious harm or death.
Recognizing that motorcycle riders are vulnerable because of the vehicle’s size and design, manufacturers are constantly developing new safety technologies. Some features and systems can reduce the potential for crashes, while others protect riders in the event of a collision. You should always turn to a Virginia Beach motorcycle accident lawyer if you were hurt, but read on for a look at the latest in advanced motorcycle safety technologies.
- Air Bag Clothing: Air bags are standard equipment in today’s passenger vehicles, since they deploy upon impact to prevent injuries to occupants. The nature of their design makes them impractical for installation on motorcycles, but air bags can still serve a useful purpose in clothing. You can now purchase motorcycle vests, jackets, and body-length suits that have similar technology. Sensors within the clothing can detect a crash and deploy the bags to cushion a rider.
- Anti-Lock Brakes: When a motorcycle rider slams on the brakes to avoid a collision or obstacle, the swift action can cause the wheels to lock up. Anti-lock braking systems prevent this phenomenon by momentarily decreasing brake pressure and allowing the wheels to slow more gradually. When the technology senses that the wheels have returned to normal functioning, the brakes also regain pressure and give the rider control over the motorcycle.
- Adaptive Headlights: Older model motorcycles are equipped with fixed headlights that light up the road directly in front of the vehicle, but not much else. Adaptive headlights can pivot into turns, thereby illuminating the adjacent roadway and giving the rider enhanced visibility. Most newer motorcycles are being manufactured with this feature as standard, but you can also purchase adaptive headlights and install them yourself.
- Helmet Safety Features: You already know that your helmet is the most essential safety feature for protecting your head in a motorcycle crash, and both riders and passengers are required to wear them under Virginia law. Even if there does not seem to be room for improvement, motorcycle helmet manufacturers are working to make them safer. Some units have added safety features like GPS technology, rear-view cameras, and Bluetooth.
- Electronic Throttle Control (ETC): A motorcycle rider uses manual controls to increase acceleration, but the throttle can easily be forced forward too far or too quickly by accident. The result is a sudden, powerful acceleration that can cause the rider to lose control and potentially lead to a crash. ETC eliminates this problem by enabling electronic acceleration and deceleration, which changes speed more gradually.
Set Up a Free Consultation with a Virginia Beach Motorcycle Accidents Attorney
These and other advanced safety features make the road safer for motorcycle riders, but no technology can prevent crashes from happening. Fortunately, Virginia law provides you with rights if you were hurt or lost a loved one, so you may qualify to recover compensation for your devastating losses. To learn more about your legal options, please contact the Law Firm of Carlton F. Bennett, P.L.L.C. You can schedule a no-cost case evaluation by calling our Virginia Beach, VA office at 757.266.5149 or completing our online contact form.