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Motorcycle accident less likely with anti-lock brakes, study suggests

Florida motorcycle riders might cut the risk of death or serious injury from a motorcycle accident nearly in half by riding bikes with antilock brakes, according to a new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

While ABS usually adds about $1,000 to the cost of a motorcycle, the study found riders with anti-lock brakes had a fatal crash rate 38 percent lower — 4.1 per 10,000 registered motorcycles, compared to a rate of 6.6 fatal crashes for bikes without ABS.

The institute said the brakes were standard or optional equipment on about 40 models for the 2008 model year, including BMW, Harley-Davidson and Honda.

“It’s definitely a bonus,” said Frankie Kennedy, president of the Southwest Florida chapter of American Bikers Aimed Towards Education. “It takes some getting used to from senior riders who have been riding for years without them, but the advancement of antilock brakes on motorcycles is definitely a good idea.”

The brakes help motorcycle riders stop their bikes quickly without locking up the wheels. The system applies the brakes multiple times a second in an emergency situation in which the biker’s sudden use of the brakes might otherwise have sent the bike into a skid.

Safety officials and motorcycle advocates continue to battle the increase in road deaths among motorcycle riders, which have more than doubled in the last decade, from 2,294 fatalities in 1998 to 5,100 motorcycle road deaths in 2008.

A total of 537 motorcycle riders died in Florida accidents in 2007, making it the deadliest state in the nation for motorcyclists.

Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Personal Injury Lawyers, has been advocating motorcycle safety and motorcycle rights in Florida for four decades and also operates www.flbikers.com, a website dedicated to motorcycle enthusiasts in Southwest Florida.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured or killed on a motorcycle, an experienced attorney may be able to help. Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner Personal Injury Lawyers offers free appointments to discuss your case at any of its offices in Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Naples, Port Charlotte, Arcadia, Venice and Sebring.

A representative of the firm will even arrange to visit you at home or in the hospital and there is no fees or costs unless the firm is successful in recovering you money from an insurance company, negligent driver of other at-fault party.