We’ve said it before, self-cancelling indicators can save riders from motorists driving right out in front of them thinking the rider is about to turn because their indicator is still on from a previous turn.
All cars have self-cancelling indicators as standard equipment, yet only expensive motorcycles fit them.
However, Slovenian company ABCS Sistem is planning to market their Smart Turn System (€149, A$228, US$160) to put this safety feature in the hands of riders on all bikes.
Dr Ross Blackman, research associate at the Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety – Queensland (CARRS-Q) at the Queensland University of Technology suspects that riders who have forgotten to turn off their indicators could be involved in crashes when motorists mis-read their intention to turn.
“I dare say that there is not a rider on earth who hasn’t forgotten to cancel indicators for at least a short period of time at some stage,” says Ross. “As such, the crash risk associated with this (in)action is an interesting question but unfortunately there is little to no data on incorrect signal use as a contributing factor in these situations and no specific studies to my knowledge.”
If you’ve had that type of crash or incident, please leave a comment below and Ross will monitor them.
I’ll admit I do it frequently because I’m often testing bikes with self-cancelling indicators, then when I go back to one of my cheaper and older bikes, I forget to cancel the blinkers because I am used to them cancelling automatically.
The best self-cancelling indicators on motorcycles is the one used by Harley-Davidson which has a timer and lean sensor.
However, the Smart Turn System (STS) is more advanced than any of the units used by motorcycle manufacturers as it uses motion sensors to determine the bike’s direction, inclination, acceleration and even vibrations.
We’re not exactly sure what the vibrations from the bike and road surface would determine, but it seems the system takes account of all types of indication: turning a corner, changing a lane, and entering or exiting a roundabout.
The system will be Beta tested by volunteers and is expected to be available by July.
ABCS Sistem says the compact, waterproof device will fit “most” motorcycles with specific cables for your model.
There will be two versions: one for the universal left-switchblock and one for separate left and right indicator controls such as on BMWs and Harleys.
They say it will be easy to install, but it also needs calibration and we’re not sure what that involves.
Meanwhile, to avoid SMIDSY T-bone style crashes, never assume a motorist has seen you and always double-check that you have not given them a false indication.