Motorcycling is one of the few pastimes that continues to grow around the world. Every year, sales of new and used bikes shows growth in almost every market, while bikes become more commonplace on already crowded roads and highways.
And as the growth continues, motorcycle manufacturers and national authorities look for the 'silver bullet' to safer riding and more efficient emergency response. Bikers are also becoming more savvy when it comes to defensive riding, but accidents still happen and lives are still being lost because either the rider-victim is unknown or worse - untraceable.
While it is also true that bikers tend to ride in groups and that in the event of an accident, there are hands on-scene to take control and coordinate a response, the lone-rider is a growing trend as more of us discover the freedom that solo riding brings in an increasingly crowded world.
In Germany, the largest manufacturer of dual-sport bikes - BMW, has initiated a continental emergency response system which enables the rider to simply flick a switch to make contact with an emergency control centre who then dispatches the relevant responder to the GPS location of the rider. Local emergency services are contacted and then dispatched to assist - whether its a breakdown, accident or emergency situation. But it has a single fault! It requires the rider to initiate the call. No matter how grand the intention, it makes no allowance for situations in which the rider is unconscious or simply unable to access the switch.
In the United States, similar systems exist, but most are State or County linked because of the vast distances involved. The 911 emergency call system is linked to local responders and once again, it requires a conscious effort by the rider to initiate help.
In South Africa, while there are a number of GPS and satellite systems available on the market, only one system addresses the shortcomings of almost anything available in the event of an emergency. The Guardian Angel safety and emergency system links automatically to a national control room where the automated alerts generated by on-board tech are monitored 24/7, all requiring no intervention by the rider. It provides an early-warning system for bike theft - alerting the owner of tamper attempts on the bike, or when those are ignored, immediately alerting local security companies and the SAPS to intercept and recover the stolen bike. But the most important aspect of Guardian Angel is the biker-down alert which is automatically generated in the event of an accident. It requires no activation by the biker and the protocols associated with this pinnacle event ensure that emergency response teams are already on their way in the time it takes to get 'manual' help to an injured rider.
There are many alternatives on the market in South Africa, but nothing comes even close to offering the kind of support, assurance or cover that Guardian Angel provides. While using anything can lessen the risk that us bikers face (and provide false hope as well), the false prophets out there are playing with lives with their over-exaggerated claims and marketing claptrap. So choose wisely and make the right decision - your life may depend on it.
Guardian Angel is a South African development created specifically for motorcyclists and it offers a superior level of support and assurance not seen before in this region. It incorporates the latest telemetry systems available internationally, and is backed and driven by TrackBox Technologies - southern Africa's most advanced and widely used emergency operator. With over 900 approved emergency response service providers across the country, Guardian Angel provides the most extensive coverage available today.