The Future of Motorcycle Safety
We recently posted about the history of motorcycle safety. In that post we explored the many ways motorcycle riding has become a much safer hobby and mode of transportation in recent years. Unfortunately, even with all of the advancements made so far, there is still a long way to go in the world of motorcycle safety.
According to estimates from the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, motorcycle fatalities are on the rise with over 5,000 motorcycle-related deaths occurring in 2015. Not only are these numbers on the rise, but they are also rising even as the overall numbers of highway fatalities are falling.
There are a number of factors coming into play to make these numbers what they are. Thankfully, many of these issues can be addressed by continued advancement in the motorcycle safety arena, something that is always happening. In fact, many of the motorcycle safety innovations that are currently in the works could easily bring biker fatality rates down to numbers that were previously unimaginably low.
So what are these incredible new advancements? In this article, we will explore the many new technologies that are just around the corner and waiting to keep motorcyclists just like you as safe as possible.
Car drivers have the luxury of a number of safety features that are simply unavailable to motorcycle riders. For instance, the lifesaving airbag comes standard in every car on the market, making each and every car, truck, and van a safer place to be. However, because there is no known effective way to install airbags on bikes, there aren’t any motorcycles currently available with these lifesaving devices.
That said, airbag clothing is now available and could be an enormous stride forward for the motorcycle safety movement. This clothing looks and feels like your average motorcycle gear, but inflates upon impact, providing a cushion for a rider who is being flung from their seat. To make a good thing even better, the technology for these airbag vests and jackets is still being improved upon, meaning in a few years’ time, they will be even more effective.
When used in addition to a helmet, this clothing could provide enough protection to save a person’s life.
Another incredible invention that is already available is side-view assist. This innovation is made by Bosch and is currently found on BMW’s C650GT scooter.
The side-view assist system helps eliminate the danger posed by a biker’s blind spots by continually surveying the road around the rider and ensuring no threats enter those hard-to-see areas. If a vehicle does appear to be threatening to the rider, the system puts out an alert in order to ensure the rider doesn’t make a life-threatening decision.
Goggle and Visor Displays
By now you have likely heard of Google Glass and all it can do for users. What if this sort of technology was added to the goggles, glasses, and visors of motorcyclists?
There are actually a few different companies working on this very technology. This would mean a rider could have every bit of information they could possibly need right in front of them at all times. Ultimately, this would lead to fewer distractions. Additionally, this new technology could be used to alert riders of potential dangers such as slow traffic, or—if paired with the side-view assist technology mentioned above—a vehicle located in their blind spot.
An incredible advancement for all people on the road, vehicle-to-vehicle communication is in the works and promises to make travel a safer experience for all involved. This technology will allow vehicles to communicate with road sensors and one another in order to make crashes much less likely.
Eventually, this technology will—if you’ll pardon the pun—pave the way for self-driving vehicles, something that is likely to make vehicle accidents a thing of the past.
Less than a year ago, BMW revealed plans for a self-balancing bike that could completely be a game changer when it comes to motorcycle safety. Not only would the bike balance entirely on its own, it would also boast an “electronic safety cage” which would communicate with other vehicles and road sensors in order to avoid accidents.
This motorcycle of the future would run entirely on electricity, making it both easier to maintain and a smaller burden on the environment. Not to worry though; the bike most certainly won’t be losing any power or “oomph” in exchange for ditching the gas engines of old.
The company also introduced some pretty high-tech safety gear to go along with this incredible bike. This includes goggles with a safety display as well as clothing to help the rider maintain a comfortable temperature and reduce muscle fatigue.
Essentially, this BMW concept vehicle encompasses many of the amazing safety technologies mentioned in this article and makes them even better. This is one bike we can’t wait to see!
Despite all of the recent and upcoming advancements in motorcycle safety, safety glasses and goggles are still a very necessary part of any biker’s wardrobe. Therefore, it is crucial that all motorcyclists own some sort of eye safety wear. After all, it’s pretty difficult to ride safely when you can’t see properly.
If you are in the market for some motorcycle safety eyewear, we highly recommend taking a look around our online store. We offer a wide variety of lenses and frames, so there is sure to be something that suits your style perfectly!