The study found that more than a third of the riders surveyed did not use their brakes, “whether they just did not have time or were unable to because of the circumstances”.
“How this can be addressed is relevant to the fact that in this study a third of the motorcycles were equipped with Advanced Braking Systems while 12% had traction control,” the study found.
The study questions the value of such technology in a crash scenario, considering that the perception/reaction time of the rider/driver is between 0.75 and 1.5 seconds.
“The assumption that technology will save the day may miss the obvious fact that what matters in an emergency situation, is the rider him/herself and his/her ability to control the technology.”
The study does not dispute that ABS could be a saviour when used, only that brakes are not used in many situations.
“ABS can and does make a difference,” says one of the authors, UK Motorcycle Research Analyst Elaine Hardy.
However, it seems training on the correct use of brakes, particularly with ABS, may be a contributing factor.
Interestingly, of the 288 riders who indicated that they went over the top of the handlebars (topside) after crashing, 37% (or 107) of these riders had ABS fitted to their bikes. However, 40% didn’t use them before the crash.