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Motorcyclist distraction may become a thing with new tech

Distracted driving is a problem that affects thousands of drivers across the country every year, including in Connecticut. Numerous factors have distracted drivers since cars were invented, from scenery to passengers in the car. However, one particularly dangerous form of distraction that has become increasingly prevalent is the use of mobile technology. In addition to talking and texting while behind the wheel, smartphones have made it possible to access the Internet wherever users go. At any point, people can be sharing the road with a driver who is also checking email, updating a status on social media, watching a video or reading an article.

Now it is possible for some motorcycles to become connected with the Internet. BMW, Harley-Davidson, Indian and Victory motorcycles are among those that have newly-developed touchscreen technology that manufactures claim can increase biker safety. The systems have numerous capabilities, from being able to help bikers navigate to alerting one of a mechanical issue on the motorcycle. However, the systems are also able to sync with smartphones and allow motorcyclists to get online. If being preoccupied with a screen occurs while a motorcyclist is driving, it could end in disaster.

Motorcyclists may lose control easily, and the problem could be exacerbated if their full attention is not on the road. Technology that connects vehicles to the Internet via an on-board screen may be quite useful, but can also be dangerous if a person is operating the system at the same time that he or she is driving.

Source: Bloomberg, “Brace Yourselves: Motorcycles Are Getting Touchscreens,” Kyle Stock, Aug. 1, 2016

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