IIHS Again Petitions for Mandatory Motorcycle ABS

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) have submitted a second petition to federal regulators, advocating for the mandatory installation of antilock braking systems (ABS) on all new motorcycles in the United States. Despite significant progress in recent years, a substantial percentage of new U.S. motorcycles still lack ABS, contributing to preventable accidents and fatalities.

Why It Matters

The IIHS and HLDI’s petition highlights the need for improved motorcycle safety standards in the United States. While many other countries have already mandated ABS on motorcycles, the U.S. lags behind in adopting this life-saving technology. The evidence supporting ABS is compelling, with studies showing a significant reduction in fatal crash rates and collision insurance claims for motorcycles equipped with ABS. As motorcyclist crash fatalities continue to rise, action is needed to accelerate the adoption of ABS.

Key Points

  • IIHS and HLDI petition federal regulators for mandatory ABS on all new motorcycles.
  • Numerous countries, including EU member states, the UK, Brazil, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, and India, have already mandated ABS.
  • Manufacturers have voluntarily increased the proportion of new U.S. motorcycles with ABS from 20% in 2013 to 59% in the current year.
  • Recent studies show that motorcycles with optional ABS have 22% lower fatal crash rates and 21-24% lower collision insurance claims.
  • Concerns about ABS on loose surfaces can be addressed through rulemaking, allowing riders to disable ABS when necessary.

Bottom Line

With motorcyclist crash fatalities reaching alarming levels, the petition from IIHS and HLDI emphasizes the urgency of mandating ABS on all new motorcycles in the United States. While progress has been made, there is still much work to be done to ensure the safety of motorcyclists on American roads. Adopting the best practices in motorcycle safety is not only important for saving lives but also for aligning the U.S. with global safety standards.


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