Motorcyclists face serious risks while they’re riding. Bikers must be vigilant in watching for hazards, stopped traffic, and drivers who don’t notice them while on the road. Despite these demands on motorcyclists’ attention, three major motorcycle manufacturers have recently introduced on-board information systems for several models of their bikes. Manufacturers argue that these systems will actually promote rider safety, rather than diminish it.
While BMW and Harley-Davidson have offered a form of on-board touchscreen system on their bikes for some time, Indian and Victory motorcycle manufacturer Polaris Industries is the latest to develop such a system. The Ride Command 7” touchscreen will be a feature included on the latest models of Chieftain and Roadmaster motorcycles manufactured by the company. The system will sync with users’ phones, allowing riders to make hands-free calls and access the music on their device. The system will also offer turn-by-turn directions and provide helpful information such as the nearest location of a gas station when the bike’s fuel tank gets low. Additionally, the computer will record data on the rider’s technique while on the road, offering the rider suggestions on efficiency and safety improvement upon review of this data.
Last year, a study on the effects of in-vehicle entertainment systems drew media attention to the question of whether or not it was truly safe for passenger vehicle drivers to use these systems behind the wheel. Certain of these on-board systems were found to be as distracting as attempting to solve a math problem and memorize a list of words while driving. Wouldn’t distractions to a motorcyclist be even more problematic? Some say no. While the systems may pose some ability to distract, they may still be less distracting than the makeshift approach of using paper maps or smartphones mounted to a part of the bike. Offering riders a way to learn about inclement weather or dangerous road conditions in advance could also promote riders’ safety by allowing them a chance to avoid these opportunities for an accident.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident in Connecticut, seek out experienced and knowledgeable legal counsel to help you pursue a claim for the money damages to which you’re entitled, and contact The APEX Law Firm for a free consultation on your claims, in New Britain at (860) 900-0900, and in Milford at 203-877-4141.