Motorcyclists have some different safety needs on the road than other motorists. But there are some things that many bikers believe about road safety that simply aren’t true. Stay safer on the road by checking out these myths and facts about motorcycle safety.
If You’re Going to Crash, Lay it Down
It’s hard to say where this myth comes from, but it may date from a time when breaks on motorcycles were less effective than they are today. It suggests that, if you find yourself in a situation where a crash is inevitable, you should lay your motorcycle down to slow down faster.
The truth is, with today’s technology, your breaks will be far more effective at slowing you down in the event of a crash. And this could save you a lot of injury from sliding on the pavement. Bottom line, use your breaks to stop, not your body.
Loud Pipes Save Lives
This myth claims that having a loud exhaust pipe will alert motorists around you to your presence, and will therefore keep you safer from distracted drivers. The truth is, the sound of the pipe is directed almost entirely backward due to the physics of sound. While a car behind you might not see you, it’s far more likely that a car to the front or side of you could cause a crash like this. Be kind to your motorcycle and get your exhaust pipe fixed.
Full Face Helmets Reduce Visibility
The Department of Transportation’s standards for helmets ensure that this is not the case. Full-face helmets have at least 210 degrees of visibility, meaning your peripheral vision will not be affected. You may also find you are better able to concentrate on your surroundings since the helmet shields you from wind, debris, and road noise.
Motorcycle Helmets Can Break Your Neck
This myth has persisted because it seems right intuitively. If you add more weight to your head, it will increase the force of impact on your neck. But the reality is that the energy absorption properties of the helmet more than make up for this in the event of a crash. Studies show that riders wearing helmets suffered fewer neck injuries than those who weren’t wearing helmets.
A good quality helmet can save your life in the event of a crash. Don’t let the myths stand in the way of safety.
Streets are Safer Than the Interstate
The thinking behind this myth is that riders are safer at lower speeds, so that if a crash happens they will suffer less injury than if they had been riding at highway speeds. That may be true, but your risk of getting into a crash in the first place is much higher on normal streets. Over 90% of motorcycle accidents happen on roads, not interstates. Although speeds are faster, interstates have a greater field of visibility, and the traffic patterns are smoother and more predictable. So don’t hesitate to hit the open road.