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Crash prevention technology misses the mark for motorcycles

Whether you love motorcycles for their connotations of freedom or you enjoy the ability to quickly travel without loading up a whole car, it's obvious just how important these vehicles are to you. Many people in New York also enjoy the sensation that is distinctly different than that of a passenger vehicle.

However, there is also a significant size difference between motorcycles and other vehicles on the road. Motorcyclists tend to be at a distinct disadvantage when they are involved in accidents, and usually suffer much more serious injuries than those behind the wheel of passenger vehicles.

Is new technology making motorcyclists safer?

Manufacturers install crash prevention technology on almost all new cars. This technology utilizes sensors, cameras and more to continuously monitor the environment outside of the vehicle and to provide warnings for possible collisions. In some cars, crash avoidance technology will even intervene when possible.

These warnings typically apply to detections of vehicles in blind spots and warnings when a driver leaves his or her own lane. While these features can help prevent accidents between larger motor vehicles, they are typically not as effective at protecting motorcycles.

Technology prevents some, but not all, accidents.

A study showed that vehicles equipped with blind spot detection, lane departure warnings and lane-maintenance systems are effective at preventing approximately 10 percent of fatal motorcycle accidents that involve other vehicles. This technology also prevents an estimated 19 percent of motorcycle accidents with injuries.

Improvements in blind spot detection technology could be particularly effective for preventing accidents caused by vehicles merging into lanes with motorcyclists. These sideswipe crashes account for 1 percent of all fatal crashes and 6 percent of police-reported crashes that are non-fatal but include injuries.

Motorcyclists are still at risk for serious injury.

Many New York drivers simply do not watch for motorcyclists carefully enough. However, claiming to not have seen a motorcycle is not sufficient to negate responsibility for a catastrophic accident. As with pedestrians and bicyclists, drivers should maintain a watchful eye on the road and should always take safety precautions as necessary.

If you or a loved one has suffered severe injuries in a motorcycle accident, you understand just how devastating the aftermath can be. Many victims suffer long-term pain and suffering and emotional trauma, all of which can be complicated by the financial toll of related medical bills. Since New York personal injury law can be complex, it is best to have an experienced lawyer on your side as you seek just compensation for your injuries.

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Michael J. Gaffney, Attorney at Law
1164 Victory Blvd.
Staten Island, NY 10301

Phone: 347-286-1937
Fax: 718-447-9908
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