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Can new innovation help curb motorcycle accidents?

Recently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration came up with the idea of using technology to help prevent auto accidents. The technology, termed V2V for "Vehicle to Vehicle", seeks to promote communication between vehicles to avoid accidents. While such a technology does not include motorcycles, a promising innovation may help Oklahoma riders avoid being in a motorcycle accident.

The Motorcycle Life Expo launched a motorcycle simulator called the SMARTrainer. The simulator featured a real-life model of a motorcycle -- complete with brakes, clutch, throttle and shifting mechanisms. It was also fitted with a specialized seat and computer that had real-time scenarios provided by the Department of Public Safety.

According to a motorcycle safety center representative, the simulator can be helpful for people who want to learn, or believe they need additional skills in driving a motorcycle. A motorcyclist who tested the simulator attested to the simulator's effectiveness. The motorcyclist, a rider for 33 years who has had several close calls, stated that the SMARTrainer can be a helpful refresher for riders every two or three years. He added that the riding situations in the simulator, including the obstacles, were realistic.

The simulator is also a good testing ground for riders to counteract motorcycle unawareness. As one veteran rider commented, most people do not look out for riders. Of course, unawareness often leads to accidents.

The simulator is indeed a promising innovation and could pave the way for other advancements that will help curb motorcycle accidents. But ultimately, even as Oklahoma City riders do their part to avoid accidents, crashes can still occur if other motorists drive negligently. Motorcycle accidents can result in serious injuries, compromising riders and passengers. In such a case, victims can hold a negligent driver liable through a personal injury lawsuit. The legal action can also lead to a monetary award to help victims with accident-related damages.

Source: Kstp.com, "Simulated Motorcycle Ride Tests Drivers Skills," Katherine Johnson, Feb. 17, 2014

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