myths about motorcycle safety

 

There are quite a few misconceptions floating around about the dangers of bike riding. With many of these gaining traction, it’s no surprise that sometimes these misconceptions are believed to be ‘facts’.

Here is a list of some myths or misconceptions that commonly disguise themselves as ‘facts’.

1) - Loud Modified Exhausts Save Lives

If you are next to a driver who has their window down and about to switch lanes, the noise from your modified exhaust will automatically make you more noticeable – and hence keep you safe. But fact of the matter remains, bikes with modified exhaust systems tend to crash more frequently than those with stock pipes.

If you really want to stay safe, go for a bright colored helmet, or a motorcycle jacket with plenty of reflectors. These modifications have proven to be safer than loud modified exhausts.

2) - Motorcycle Helmets Break Necks

A common misconception is that you experience more weight on the end of your neck when you get thrown off a bike with a helmet on. This extra weight can snap your neck bone.

Wrong.

It doesn’t work this way. It’s quite the opposite actually. The energy-absorbing qualities of motorcycle helmets ensure that the worst of the impact is taken away from the most sensitive areas. And various studies have been conducted to prove that the use of motorcycle helmets actually saves lives and results in fewer neck injuries in case of a crash.

3) - Helmets Hamper the Driver’s Ability to See/Hear

Helmets actually enable riders to see better by providing high quality visors – which not only protect the rider’s eyes against wind and dust particles, but also from the harmful rays of the sun. In addition, helmets are designed to help cut out the disturbing noise. So in reality, helmets do exactly the opposite – they help riders see and hear better and keeps them safe.

 4) - One Beer Won’t Hurt

You might think that one beer barely classifies as ‘drinking’, but that is where you are wrong. It won’t hurt while you are drinking it, but its effects will surely manifest in some way or form later. And if this happens while you are on your bike, you might end up in trouble. No matter how unaffected and in-control you can stay after drinking a bit of beer, studies suggest otherwise. Drinking and driving never go together, especially as you get older. With age, your metabolism starts to slow down and those ‘couple of drinks’ might start affecting you more than usual. So always be very careful with drinking in the few hours before you plan on riding.

5) - You’re Safer on the Street than on the Interstate

The logic behind this misconception might be that the slower you ride, the safer you would be. This only holds true once you get into an accident. On a general note, since all traffic is going in the same direction, interstates and highways/motorways are much safer than city streets and roads. Also there are no side streets or slip roads from where other drivers or bike riders in particular, can pop up suddenly in your path. The number of pedestrians is also low and there is relatively less roadside “furniture”. Nonetheless, precautions need to be taken, no matter what kind of road you are driving on.

6) - A Skilled Rider Can Handle Almost Any Situation

Skilled riders who are confident about their riding abilities need to realize that sometimes even they have no control over certain situations. For instance, even the best, most experienced rider would not be up to the task if the car/truck in front suddenly stops. Therefore, no matter how skilled you are, it is always wise to avoid situations that might get ugly. Always slow down, scan the road ahead and plan your ride.  

So the next time you hear some interesting ‘fact’ about bike riding – even if it is coming from the most experienced of riders – make sure you double check it.