Motorcycle antilock braking systems and fatal crash rates: updated results

Teoh, Eric R.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
August 2021

Introduction: Antilock braking systems (ABS) prevent wheels from locking during hard braking and have been shown to reduce motorcyclists’ crash risk. ABS has proliferated in the United States fleet, and the objective of the current study was to update the effectiveness estimate for ABS with additional years of data and a broader variety of motorcycle types.
Methods: Motorcycle drivers involved in fatal crashes per 10,000 registered vehicle years during 2003–19 were examined for 65 motorcycle models offering ABS as an optional feature. Fatal crash rates for motorcycles with ABS were compared with rates for the same models without it.
Results: ABS was associated with a statistically significant 22% reduction in motorcycle driver fatal crash involvements per 10,000 registered vehicle years.
Discussion: This finding adds to the growing literature demonstrating the safety benefits of motorcycle ABS.