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Cok Kinzler PLLP

Motorcycle safety and V2V communications advances

Montana motorcyclists may enjoy their ability to see beautiful country as they ride, but there is an awareness of their vulnerability as they share the roads with other motorists. A violation of a motorcyclist's right-of-way is one of the most common challenges, responsible for as many as two-thirds of motorcycle accidents on a national scale. One of the most common reasons for such a violation is a lack of visibility. It would be nice if vehicles could communicate their positions even when motorists are unable to see. Vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology is expected to make this possibility a reality in coming years.

Although V2V communication technology is currently being developed for light vehicles such as cars, it is not difficult to imagine that it will eventually be expanded to include motorcycles and other vehicles. V2V involves an exchange of data between vehicles so that positions and courses can be identified. A driver stopped at an intersection might be able to move before another car on a collision course makes contact. A potential head-on collision on a two-lane highway might be avoided as vehicles warn when passing conditions are unsafe. For motorcyclists, the issue of accidents caused because of not being seen could be minimized if V2V becomes a standard feature.

A 2012 test evaluated how the platform worked with vehicles of different makes and models as thousands participated in a large-scale deployment. Results were positive, providing the hope of safer roads as the technology is refined.

Safety precautions are important because of vulnerabilities for motorcyclists. However, motorists are also responsible for being vigilant as they drive. Inattentive driving on the part of a motorist that causes a motorcyclist to suffer accident-related injuries might warrant additional attention as a personal injury case is considered.

Source: Ultimate MotorCycling Magazine, "Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communications for Motorcycles?," Gary Ilminen , Jan. 6, 2015

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