There's a lot of myths and misinformation about motorcycle safety out there. Widespread myths so dangerous they can cause serious injury and even death to the riders. We've gathered the top six deadliest motorcycle safety misconceptions so that the next time you're out cruising Sunrise Highway or riding along the Northern State, you know the facts and not the urban myths.
Top Six Motorcycle Safety Myths
Myth 1: Motorcycle Helmets Break Necks
It's a logical thought--extra weight on your head will create more force and snap your neck back. But it turns out not to be true. In fact, studies show that helmeted motorcyclists actually suffer fewer neck injuries when they crash compared to riders who crash without helmets. In addition to protecting the rider's head, the energy-absorbing qualities of helmets that meet DOT (U.S. Department of Transportation) standards also absorb the energy that breaks riders' necks in impacts.
Myth 2: Loud Pipes Save Lives
Unless your pipes are facing forward, loud pipes aren't going to help much if a car turns right in front of you, which is the most common motorcycle accident scenario. By the time a car hears your pipes, you're already visibly in front of him. And whether the noise is a distraction, an annoyance to other drivers, or lulls motorcyclists into a false sense of security, the research shows that bikes with loud pipes actually crash more frequently.
Myth 3: If You're Going to Crash, Lay It Down
Bike brakes work, and they're a lot more efficient than slamming into the ground and sliding out-of-control down the road on your butt. Plus, if you slide into a car while you're on the ground, you'll either smash into it or end up wedged under it, whereas if you are still on the bike, you might get thrown over the car you collide with, avoiding any impact with your body.
Myth 4: It's Safer on the Street than on an Interstate
The thinking here is that slower must be safer, but that's only really true after the accident begins. Large roadways may have speeding cars, but what they don't have are side streets, pedestrians, traffic moving in multiple directions, roadside distractions and obstacles to hit if you leave the road. Running down the road at 70 mph side-by-sidewall with the whirling wheels of a semi may feel hairy, but you are actually safer than at half that speed on a city street or even a country road.
Myth 5: A Skilled Rider Can Stop Better with Conventional Brakes than with Anti-Lock Brakes
Extensive testing disproves this popular notion. Outstanding motorcyclists rode on pavements that were flat, dry, and clean and even on these surfaces they stopped in less distance with anti-lock brakes (ABS) than with conventional or linked braking systems. Though the tests didn't include samples on surfaces with slick, dirty or wet spots, ABS certainly would have performed even better under those conditions while eliminating much of the risk of crashing.
Myth 6: A Skilled Rider Should Be Able to Handle Almost Any Situation
Not even the best motorcyclist can control the driving of those around him. A rider can only drive at a safe speed, scan the roads, take precautions, and wear protective gear. But even doing everything right, it might be impossible to avoid a car that suddenly pulls out in front of him or changes lanes without looking.
***Worth Noting-- It's Better to Stay in Your Lane than Split Lanes (It depends on several factors, including speed)
In most parts of the world, motorcycles split lanes all the time, everywhere traffic is heavy. Here in NY, and the rest of America (except California) lane-splitting is illegal. An analysis conducted by researchers from UC Berkeley’s Safe Transportation Research and Education Center (SafeTREC) found that lane-splitting is relatively safe if done in traffic moving at 50 mph or less, and if motorcyclists do not exceed the speed of other vehicles by more than 15 mph. Still many motorcyclists and other drivers berate those split lanes, rather than endorse it.
Want More Information? Contact our Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
For those times, it's important to know your legal rights and find an experienced lawyer who truly understands these types of cases. We've written a completely free report, Hurt on a Motorcycle?, to help you learn everything you need know if you've been injured in a motorcycle accident. At Goldstein and Bashner, our lawyers have dealt with many motorcycle accident cases and we can help you collect the monetary compensation you deserve if you've been in an accident. Contact us today for more information and a free consultation.