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Are Forward Collision Warning Systems Programmed to Spot Motorcyclists?

Today I want to provide my professional opinion as a motorcycle accident attorney and talk about a study that I saw regarding forward collision warning systems and whether they are really calibrated to help protect motorcycle riders as well as the general public on four-wheel vehicles.

What I had found is the ultimate answer to the question is unfortunately no. This is yet another example of how the motorcycle riding community tends to fall back to the foreground when it comes to a lot of new legislation and a lot of new safety type devices.

Legislation Is Lagging When It Comes To Motorcycle Safety

I had talked previously about the Harley tire defect and how that brought up some issues with the law where there are standard federal requirements that cover four-wheeled motor vehicles but don’t cover motorcycles, which are the ones that need it the most when it comes to tires.

Now, here we are again with this forward collision warning systems that are now becoming more and more standard equipment on vehicles. I know I have one, and if you recall, it’s where if you’re approaching a vehicle and the system calibrates that based off of your speed and the vehicle in front of you in the distance, if it doesn’t feel that you’ve got enough time to stop, it’s giving you an advanced warning of the vehicle ahead of you.

What Does The Study Say About Forward Collision Warning Systems?

The first thing this study looked at is what is the minimum requirement for this warning system to go off to keep a collision from occurring? They say this warning should go off at least 2.1 seconds before you’re going to impact the vehicle in front of you to give you a safe distance to stop.

The study found that 40% of the time these advanced warning systems on vehicles were failing to detect a stopped motorcycle in front of the vehicle. To me, that’s astounding.

That’s not talking about intersection-type collisions, where you’ve got two vehicles moving, but is it going to detect that motorcycle? You can kind of understand that it may not pick it up with a moving motorcycle.

We’re talking about a stopped motorcycle in front of the warning system vehicle and it not even going off at all, much less 2.1 seconds or longer, to give that vehicle time not to run into the motorcycle rider.

How Can We Bring More Awareness To Issues Like These?

This is again yet another example of how the safety industry, the legal industry, legislation, and everything else, tend to forget about motorcycle riders. Again, I’ve been a proponent of this on our group. It is massively important to have groups like ABATE on the national scene and local scene, as well as some of the other motorcycle advocacy groups out there to try to tell lawmakers “Hey we’re out here. Don’t forget about us.”

These things need to be designed not only for the larger population of motor vehicles but also for the motorcycles out there. Let’s cover everybody and why not motorcycle riders, especially when the chance of severe injuries or death is so much higher in a motorcycle accident than it is compared to our four-wheeled friends?

Again, this is concerning information, and maybe someone out there watching this can help do something about it. If you have any questions or concerns about this topic, feel free to respond. You can even shoot me an email, as I’d be happy to discuss anything with you.

For over 15 years, Mr. Spaulding has helped victims of negligence across the state of Georgia resolve personal injury disputes, and he’s received a remarkable number of awards and honors from the legal community recognizing his commitment to clients and to the metro-Atlanta area.

As an undergraduate, Mr. Spaulding belonged to the Phi Beta Kappa honors fraternity at the University of Georgia, and he obtained his legal training at the Georgia State College of Law, where he clerked for the Honorable Judge Rowland Barnes of the Fulton County Superior Court. Mr. Spaulding has also worked for the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Atlanta Enforcement Division. Since 2005, he has dedicated his career to helping the injured victims of negligence and their loved ones win justice in Georgia’s personal injury courts.