Better integration of motorcycles in crash warning and prevention systems and greater widespread availability of enhanced braking and stability control systems will help reduce motorcycle crash risk, according to a safety report issued by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

The report, Select Risk Factors Associated with Causes of Motorcycle Crashes analyzes select risk factors associated with the causes of motorcycle crashes and evaluates strategies to prevent them. It identifies and assesses factors contributing to motorcycle crash risk, comparing those factors with previous research findings and evaluating the need for motorcycle safety improvements.

“The recommendations made in this report are designed to improve detection of motorcycles in traffic and give motorcycle riders more time to react to dangerous conditions,” said NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt. “Passenger-vehicle based crash warning and prevention systems and connected vehicle technologies have the potential to enhance motorcycle safety by improving motorcycle conspicuity, but these systems are not consistently designed to detect or integrate motorcycles. Antilock braking and stability control systems on motorcycles provide riders with assistance in unexpected circumstances – riders remain in control until they need the help.”

The NTSB says many high-risk traffic situations between motorcycles and other motor vehicles could be prevented if vehicle drivers were better able to detect and anticipate the presence of a motorcycle when entering or crossing a road, making a turn or changing lanes. Additionally, stability control systems on motorcycles could reduce single-vehicle crashes involving loss of control which would reduce the prevalence of motorcyclists killed or injured by impacts with fixed roadside objects.

In the report the NTSB issues a total of 10 safety recommendations including equipping all new motorcycles with antilock braking system technology, incorporating motorcycles in the development of passenger vehicle crash warning and prevention system performance standards and developing and publishing performance standards for stability control systems on motorcycle manufactures for on-road use in the U.S.

View the abstract of the safety report.