Effects of antilock braking systems on motorcycle fatal crash rates: an update

Teoh, Eric R.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
May 2013

Objective: Antilock braking systems (ABS) prevent wheels from locking during hard braking and may reduce motorcycle drivers’ reluctance to apply full braking force. Prior research found that ABS reduced motorcycle fatal crash rates during 2003-08 by 37 percent with 95 percent confidence interval (9 percent, 58 percent). The objective of the current study was to provide an updated examination of the effects of ABS on fatal motorcycle crash rates.
Methods: Motorcycle drivers involved in fatal crashes per 10,000 registered vehicle years during 2003-11 were examined for 13 motorcycle models offering optional ABS. Fatal crash rates for motorcycles with ABS were compared to rates for the same models without ABS.
Results: ABS was associated with a 31 percent reduction in the rate of fatal motorcycle crashes per 10,000 registered vehicle years. The 95 percent confidence interval for this effectiveness estimate was (9 percent, 48 percent). Both the updated estimate and its confidence interval were within the confidence interval of the 2003-08 estimate due largely to the precision afforded by larger sample size.
Conclusions: Further evidence shows that ABS is highly effective in preventing fatal motorcycle crashes.

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