California residents may be interested in an emerging technology that one day might prevent accidents involving motorcycles. The vehicle-to-vehicle communication system is being tested now on some automobiles, but the time may come when it could be used to prevent motorcycle accidents.
The U.S. Department of Transportation began a pilot test of the communications technology with 3,000 Michigan vehicles in August 2012. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration is now doing paperwork to extend this technology to sport utility vehicles, cars and pickups. This technology allows a vehicle's on-board sensors to communicate with other vehicles equipped with the same technology. Information the two vehicles share can include speed of the vehicles and distance between them, and whether one car is about to change lanes or make a left turn. Drivers are then alerted and can take action to avoid an accident.
One of the major causes of motorcycle accidents is motorists not seeing motorcycles until it is too late to avoid an accident. If the new technology can be applied to motorcycles, experts say it could dramatically reduce the number of motorcycle accidents, especially those involving left turns at intersections, multi-vehicle crashes and rear-end collisions. The sensors could warn inattentive drivers that a motorcycle is nearby.
Anything that promotes motorcycle safety is good, though it is unlikely such technology will completely eliminate motorcycle accidents. When motorcyclists are involved in accidents, they are likely to suffer more serious injuries that occupants of passenger vehicles, simply because they don't have a protective metal structure surrounding them. Not all states require bikers to wear helmets, and motorcyclists who don't wear one are more likely to sustain head or brain injuries.Source: Ultimate MotorCycling magazine, "Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communications for Motorcycles?", Gary Ilminen, Jan. 6, 2015
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