By Chris Torney
Motorbikes could soon benefit from a number of safety features more commonly found in cars in a bid to cut the high accident rate among riders.
Mira (previously known as the Motor Industry Research Association) has been carrying out a number of tests of technology that will give motorcyclists extra help in avoiding smashes.
This includes speed-limit warnings, information about the tightness of upcoming bends, and an in-helmet warning system which tells the rider if another vehicle is in his blind spot.
These features are part of the EU-funded Saferider project, which was set up to combat high fatality rates among bikers. Statistics show that motorcyclists are 26 times more likely than car drivers to die in a crash.
Mira’s Jonathan Moore said: “Saferider takes the driver safety systems that are becoming standard on cars and tries to adapt them to the unique needs of motorcyclists.”
Moore added that much of the research and development was being concentrated on how to give the rider information about road conditions without disrupting their concentration.
“One of the most difficult things is getting the rider’s attention. There’s a high level of ambient noise and vibration to deal with and we really don’t want motorcycle riders looking down at the handlebars any more than they need to.”