Motorcycles increasingly come equipped with infotainment systems that allow
riders to sync their smartphones, obtain turn-by-turn directions, and
locate the nearest gas station. Polaris Industries, which makes Indian
and Victory motorcycles, recently
unveiled its new Ride Command system, which features a 7-inch touchscreen that is mounted to the handlebars.
BMW and Harley-Davidson have previously introduced their own systems that
provide navigation and smartphone connectivity.
As with “connected” motor vehicles, safety advocates have raised
concerns about distracted driving. Operating a motorcycle safely requires
significant coordination and focus. In addition, riding a motorcycle is
inherently more dangerous than driving a car. According to the latest
statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA),
26 times more likely to die in a crash than motor vehicle occupants. In 2013, some
4,700 motorcyclists were killed, and another 88,000 were injured.
In defense of the systems, motorcycle manufacturers contend that they are
simply meeting consumer demand. They also argue that the infotainment
systems are safer than the unofficial technology solutions many riders
were rigging themselves, i.e. mounting a cell phone to the handlebars.
Many systems also record data, such as acceleration, braking, and lean
angles, that motorcyclists can use to become better riders. The systems
also provide alerts to mechanical issues, such as low tire pressure, which
could lead to a crash.
As the systems become more commonplace, research and crash data will likely
help determine whether the safety rewards outweigh the risks of distraction.
As San Diego injury attorneys, we will be closely monitoring this issue.
If you or someone you care about has suffered serious injury in a motorcycle
accident, don’t hesitate to contact
a San Diego injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free
consultation. After a serious California motorcycle crash, we can advocate
on your behalf to help hold the negligent parties accountable for their
actions and seek the compensation you deserve.