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Do Infotainment Systems Increase the Risk of a San Diego Motorcycle Crash?

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), motorcyclists are 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.