5 Myths About Motorcycle Safety

Motorcycle headlightEvery generation of motorcycle riders creates its own myths about motorcycle safety, but across generations, a group of enduring myths has continued to be passed down from one group of bikers to the next. At least five motorcycle safety myths have persisted among riders for many years.

Myth #1.  Laying Down Your Bike is Better than a Collision

Improvements in motorcycle brake and tire technology have banished the myth of laying down your bike as a way to minimize injuries and damage in a potential accident. Motorcycle safety classes at one time taught riders that they could more effectively slow themselves down and prevent a worse collision by sliding their bike into the ground. Modern brakes and tires now allow riders to stop their bikes more effectively than they could by dropping the bike. Riders can better reduce accidents and injuries by staying alert and relying on their bikes to stop before any collision occurs. 

Myth #2. A Helmet Will: Limit My Sightlines/Cause Brain Damage/Break my Neck/(Insert Your Own Myth Here)

Riders might appreciate the feeling of the wind through their hair that helmet-less riding gives them, but research from the National Highway Safety Administration and other sources indicates that helmets reduce the risk of death in a motorcycle accident by 37 per cent. Every generation of riders develops new myths about the purported detriments of motorcycle helmets. Recent university research suggests, however, that relaxed helmet laws have led to an increase in organ donations from riders who did not survive an accident. Riders who are concerned about their safety should always wear a DOT certified helmet while riding.

Myth #3. Loud Pipes Save Lives

The myth that loud pipes saves lives has grown out of the more general safety suggestion that a rider should do everything possible to increase his or her visibility in traffic. Loud pipes are presumably a means of alerting motorists that a motorcycle is nearby. Motorists, however, are bombarded with so much aural and visual information that a loud roar of a motorcycle will just be lost in the cacophony of information that they receive. Riders can make themselves more apparent to motorists by wearing brighter clothing, and by making their own bikes more visible with techniques such as the “SMIDSY” (i.e. “Sorry Mate I Didn’t See You”) maneuver, in which the rider slightly wobbles his front wheel and headlamp to give oncoming cars an improved sense of the rider’s distance and speed.

Myth #4. Low-Speed Surface Roads are Safer than High-Speed Interstates

Accidents that occur at high speeds may be more deadly, but National Highway Safety Administration studies reveal that more than 90% of all motorcycle accidents occur at lower speeds on city streets. A rider might feel more relaxed at lower speeds on surface roads, but those roads also present the rider with more limited visibility from trees and buildings and with greater dangers of cars that can pull out from hidden side roads or driveways. Riders that fall prey to the myth of the safety of surface roads might let their guard down while riding on those roads. If anything, those riders need to remain more alert and attentive to risks while riding on city streets.

Myth #5. Big Bikes are Safer

Beginning riders, in particular, might subscribe to the myth that they will be safer on a big machine that weighs 700 pounds or more, inaccurately believing that all of that extra mass will more effectively absorb accident impacts. The reality is that a rider will be safest when the size of the bike matches the rider’s abilities. Inexperienced riders might have more trouble handling a bulky motorcycle in stop-and-go traffic. Larger bikes might also need longer stopping distances. Contrary to the big bike myth, the safest bike for every rider is the size that coincides with the rider’s skills.

Hurt in a Crash? Call the NY & NJ Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at KGG

Need a motorcycle accident lawyer Bergen County, NJ trusts to fight for the rights of injured bikers? The law firm of Kantrowitz, Goldhamer, & Graifman has helped riders that were injured in accidents to recover monetary damages for their losses and injuries when negligent motorists have caused motorcycle collisions. We know that every rider takes motorcycle safety very seriously, and we fight to help riders recover and to get them back on the road after they have been in accidents with other careless drivers.

Call the New Jersey motorcycle accident lawyers at KGG for more information on claiming the damages you deserve when another driver has compromised your safety.

More information on motorcycle safety:

  1. Motorcyclecruiser.com: 11 Big Motorcycle Safety Myths. https://www.motorcyclecruiser.com/11-big-motorcycle-safety-myths
  2. Motocynic.com: You Don’t Lay Down a Bike: (It’s Called Crashing). https://motocynic.wordpress.com/2014/12/22/this-is-called-crashing/
  3. Metro.us: Bikers Want Massachusetts to Relax Helmet Laws for Motorcycles. https://www.metro.us/news/local-news/boston/motorcycle-no-helmet-law
  4. Huffingtonpost.com: 7 Myths About Motorcycle Safety that Need to Go Away. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2016/05/02/seven-motorcycle-safety-myths_n_9518206.html