Cutting-Edge Advances in Technology Could Make Motorcycling Safer 

Posted: April 12, 2023

The riskiest way to get around is seated on the leather or vinyl saddle of a motorcycle, according to a Northwestern University study of passenger deaths from 2000 to 2009.  


The study notes that motorcyclists had a fatality rate of 212 per billion passenger miles, meaning that a motorcyclist who traveled 15 miles a day had a 1-in-860 chance of dying the course of a year. This exceeded the rate for drivers and occupants of automobiles and light trucks by a multiple of 29, according to the study.  


The federal government estimates that, per mile traveled, the number of deaths on motorcycles in 2019 was nearly 29 times the number of automobile fatalities. In New York certain equipment is required for all motorcycles.  


Advances in technology may help make motorcycle riding less risky. There is hope that that will reduce the risk of serious injury or death in a collision.  


Let’s examine some new motorcycle safety technology designed to protect riders. 

New Motorcycle Technology for Safety 

Whether you own a motorcycle or are considering buying one, here are some ways technology can potentially make this mode of transportation, sightseeing, bonding, and recreation a bit safer: 

  1. Airbag clothing. You can now buy clothing, including vests, jackets, and bodysuits, equipped with smart airbags. A wearable airbag inflates when a computerized system in the clothing detects that an accident is about to happen. According to, these systems can be found integrated into specific garments or as a standalone product that can be worn all the time. The technology behind these products, according to a recent review, is quite impressive.  
  2. Anti-lock braking systems. Anti-lock braking systems use sensors to detect when wheels might lock up. This can help prevent crashes and save lives. According to the Motorcycle Legal Foundation, ABS is an added safety feature that is not currently mandated, but some studies suggest it may reduce the risk of a fatal crash. One study conducted by Highway Loss Data Institute concluded that “all riders may be expected to benefit from ABS technology on their motorcycles.” 
  3. Electronic tire-pressure monitors. Low tire pressure can increase the risk of an accident. Now some motorcycles have electronic tire-pressure monitors that continuously track pressure, so you’ll know when to top them off. 
  4. Vehicle-to-vehicle communication. Automakers are developing vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technology that will allow riders to transmit messages and data between one another. The biggest benefit of this technology? It will make a motorcycle’s presence known to other cars on the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, V2V technology can enhance vehicle safety systems and help save lives.  

No matter the technology, however, your safety comes down to you. It’s important that all riders and the other motorists drive safely, know their surroundings, and avoid distractions. That’s still the best way of making your way back home again, though, sometimes, no matter the precautions taken, the negligence of another motorist can result in serious personal injuries. 

High-Tech Helmets  

New York State law requires the use of motorcycle helmets for drivers and their passengers. There are high-tech helmets that can help keep you safe.  

In one example, Sena, a company built for motorcycle riders and technology enthusiasts, has smart helmets that come with innovative technology. Some of the company’s helmets are equipped with Bluetooth connectivity, and can play music, take phone calls, get GPS directions, or shoot video. Some have FM radios, and even an intercom for hands-free communication with other riders. For more information about smart helmets, Digital Trends outlines the best smart helmets of 2019. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, helmets saved 1,872 lives in 2017 and could have saved 749 more if all motorcyclists had worn helmets. As these facts and statistics illustrate, motorcyclists and their passengers must wear helmets in New York. It’s not only the law; it can be a matter of life and death. 

Motorcycle Safety Tips 

In general, motorcyclists are more vulnerable than drivers of other types of vehicles, despite advancements in technology. A motorcycle provides relatively little protection against impact and often other vehicles are sometimes less aware of motorcycles on the road. That does not mean there is no way to reduce your risk of being involved in a motorcycle accident or extent of injury when involved in one. 

Motorcyclists must always use their training, experience, and senses to stay safe on the road. They must also follow the rules of the road. Here are a few motorcycling safety tips to keep in mind: 

  • Obey traffic laws: Following the rules of the road, such as obeying the speed limit, is one crucial way to practice safe driving and reduce the risk of a motorcycle accident. 
  • Ride sober: Riding sober is not only the law, but it can also help you avoid seriously injuring yourself or someone else on the road. 
  • Wear protective gear: Wearing proper protective gear is a straightforward way to be safe. Protective gear, such as helmets, nonskid boots, and gloves, can help lower the risk of a fatal injury in a motorcycle crash. Research shows that, in states without mandatory helmet laws, over 50 percent of motorcyclists killed in 2020 were not wearing helmets, compared with 11 percent in states that require the use of a helmet while motorcycling.  
  • Be visible: Motorcycle collisions can occur when a driver, because of inattentional blindness, does not notice a motorcyclist before impact. Other motorists always have a duty to see that which is there to be seen, regardless of whether the other motorist is on a motorcycle or in a sedan.  
  • Seek proper training: According to the NHSTA, 36-percent of motorcycle riders involved in fatal accidents did not have a valid motorcycle license in 2020. It is important to follow the law. According to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) a New York resident must have a Class M or Class MJ driver license or learner permit to drive a motorcycle. Training can help motorcyclists learn safe riding skills and practices such as weaving, downshifting, and braking. 

Hurt Riding a Motorcycle? Call William Mattar, P.C.  

The motorcycle accident lawyers at William Mattar, P.C. have experience identifying potential case issues and tailoring investigations to maximize clients’ recovery for pain and suffering after a serious motorcycle accident. If you were injured in a motorcycle accident and are looking for an experienced New York personal injury attorney, we would be honored to review the facts of your case. Contact us today, at (844) 444-4444, or fill out our online form. 

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