Staying informed about motorcycle safety is one of the best things you can do as a rider. However, it is important to ensure the information you have is accurate. There are numerous misconceptions that surround motorcycle safety, many of which are thought to be factual. But these faulty “facts” could be putting you and those you share the road with at risk. In honor of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, we’ve uncovered the truth behind some of the most common motorcycle safety myths.
Myth: Full-Faced Helmets Obstruct Your Vision
Many people believe open-faced helmets are safer than full-faced helmets because they offer more visibility. This is not the case – full-faced helmets are required by the Department of Transportation to provide a 210-degree field of vision so your peripherals are not affected. Full-faced helmets actually improve your visibility by protecting your eyes against natural elements and debris on the road.
Myth: Loud Motorcycles Save Lives
It’s often thought loud motorcycles are safer than their quieter counterpart because the noise will make surrounding drivers aware of a rider’s presence. This is not the case. Because exhaust pipes, the source of the noise, face backward, drivers in front of you may not hear you approaching. A loud exhaust could also impede the rider’s ability to hear other vehicles and sirens.
Myth: It is Safer To Ride on Streets than Highways
Although highways allow for higher speeds, they are safer for motorcyclists than streets. Highways offer a level of protection that streets do not because they keep all vehicles in a single direction and minimize stop and go traffic. You are also far less likely to be distracted by your surroundings on the highway. A study done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 91% of all traffic accidents involving a motorcyclist and a vehicle took place on non-interstate roads.
Myth: Motorcycle Helmets Increase Your Likelihood of A Broken Neck
This could not be further from the truth. Riders who wear proper headgear are significantly less likely to suffer neck or head injuries in an accident than riders without head protection. Helmets are designed to absorb the impact in a crash that otherwise would have been absorbed by your neck and head.
Myth: An Experienced Rider Can Handle Any Situation
False. Many accidents occur because of other drivers on the road and have little to do with the rider or the rider’s skill set. Even the most skilled motorcyclist will not be able to avoid a collision that he or she doesn’t see coming. Regardless of how many years you have been behind handlebars, you should always stay alert and cautious.
Staying educated and informed about motorcycle safety can significantly reduce your chances of an accident and even save your life. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, do not hesitate to contact us. We are happy to help you figure out your options.