Impact technology makes for a safer motorcycle ride

Given a motorcyclist's vulnerability, forward-thinking people continue to work on innovations that enable riders to enjoy a safer experience out on the road.

From wearing apparel to motorcycle safety systems, here are eight innovations any rider should consider:

1. Advanced helmets

You probably know about Department of Transportation-approved helmet designs, but now you can find DOT-approved helmets with GPS systems and built-in rear-view cameras.

2. Wearable airbags

Noting the ability of airbags to save lives in vehicle crashes, designers implemented similar safety features for jackets and vests. Sensors detect an impending collision, and airbags inflate to protect your chest area.

3. Smart boots

Often overlooked, boots are essential protection in a motorcycle crash. New boot designs incorporate impact technology to better protect feet and ankles.

4. Better stability

New motorcycle stability control systems analyze the need for braking or accelerating, especially during a turn, and provide the correct amount of braking or power required.

5. ABS for motorcycles

Antilock brakes are popular on vehicles, and they are becoming a sought-after feature on motorcycles, a feature that is now mandatory on motorcycles over 125cc in Europe.

6. LED lighting

Greater visibility is key to safety for motorcycle riders. Bright, economical LED lighting provides such visibility, especially in less-than-favorable conditions.

7. Horsepower option

Some manufacturers lower the horsepower on their brands to provide motorcycle buyers with an option for a safer commute.

8. System monitoring

State-of-the-art motorcycle diagnostics include cruise control, tire pressure monitors and semi-active suspension. Some of these features come to the U.S. by way of Europe.

Staying safe

Advancements in impact technology continue to emerge because motorcycle injuries can be devastating. Broken bones will keep you out of commission for weeks, if not months, and a brain or spinal cord injury can permanently alter your life. If you are an avid motorcyclist, you may already employ some of the latest safety innovations--but given your vulnerability to injury, you can never be too safe. 

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