Magana Cathcart & McCarthy

Could Touchscreens on Motorcycles Prevent Accidents?

Touchscreen technology

For years, passenger vehicles have been including in-vehicle entertainment systems as a standard feature in cars and SUVs, to mixed reviews on whether or not such touchscreens are safe while behind the wheel. Now, motorcycle manufacturers have begun to make touchscreen information systems an increasingly common feature on bikes. Whether or not this will be a positive development in rider safety is yet to be seen.

Harley-Davidson and BMW have offered a touchscreen information and mapping system on certain of their motorcycle models for some time. The latest addition to the market of motorcycles with touchscreens on board is the Ride Command system offered on certain new models of Indian motorcycles, manufactured by Polaris Industries. Polaris touts the ability of the system to pair with riders’ phones, offering access to their music and an ability to make phone calls hands-free while on their bike. The system will also offer GPS navigation and directions, as well as offering such information as the location of the nearest gas station when the bike’s fuel is running low. Ride Command will also offer information on the motorcyclist’s particular riding technique and ways to improve it, based off data recorded while the bike is on the road. These on-board information systems can also offer information on gridlock traffic or falling precipitation occurring along the motorcyclist’s planned route.

There are certain aspects of motorcycle riding which make warnings of conditions upcoming on a rider’s route even more critical to safety. For example, motorcycle riders stand a much greater chance of serious or fatal injury should they be rear-ended in stop-and-go traffic than would a passenger vehicle driver, making traffic updates critically important. Additionally, poor weather conditions could cause serious injury to a motorcycle rider, making warnings that a rider is heading into falling rain or snow even more important to learn than they would be for the driver of a car or truck. That said, riders must pay extremely careful attention to the road to avoid debris, potholes, stopped cars, or other hazards which are dangers to cars but lethal to motorcycles. As explained in a prior post, studies show that in-vehicle entertainment systems can pull a driver’s attention from the road to a dangerous degree. Adding a visual distraction between a rider’s handlebars could cause motorcyclists to miss critical information while visually or mentally distracted.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident in Southern California, seek help in obtaining the compensation you deserve for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering by contacting the knowledgeable and compassionate Los Angeles personal injury lawyers at Magaña, Cathcart & McCarthy for a consultation on your case, at 310-553-6630.

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