Motorcycle safety shouldn’t be a complicated subject. It’s all about being prepared and responsible for ensuring a smooth and safe travel. When it comes to the specifics that riders should learn (or unlearn), it becomes a little more complicated. There seem to be a lot of misconceptions, and erroneous assumptions on road practices and all these tend to make things confusing.
These 7 myths about motorcycle safety have been around for some time. Every rider should know the truth about them and avoid the mistake of doing or repeating them.
1. Helmets are of no help during a crash.
Accidents mostly happen on low impact speeds with vertical energy impact—and helmets are built to provide protection for these specific situations, as proven in helmet tests. In some cases, riders with helmets do suffer fatal head injuries, but this is considered an expected outcome considering the impact of the hit that would have also fatally injured other parts of his body.
2. A helmet blocks your vision and ability to detect incoming danger.
A helmet is your protection, as much as the other gears are made to help reduce your risk of suffering any injury should accidents happen. In particular, your helmet reduces the wind from directly blowing in your face, which could be a real (and dangerous) bother otherwise. This head gear protects your eye and decreases wind noise, too, allowing you better vision and hearing. That being said, wearing a quality helmet does not increase the risk of you getting in an accident.
3. Noise-making pipes are helpful.
While loud pipes can call the attention of someone next to you on the road who is about to change lanes, the benefit of such seems to stop right there. In fact, the noise may prove to put everyone at a greater risk. The noise, which points to the rearward direction, could actually cause a jeopardizing road situation. Drivers get annoyed by this, too, busting the myth of a modified, louder exhaust system being a helpful feature.
4. When you get thrown off your bike, your helmet can break your neck.
This is false. Your helmet, in fact, was designed to absorb the energy that could break your neck during impact. Statistics show riders who wore helmets during the crash got fewer and less severe neck injuries than those who did not.
5. A little bit of booze won’t hurt.
Alcohol can impair your vision and judgment, and these have been proven dangerous for anyone hitting the road. Regardless of your high alcohol tolerance or the superior state of your health, booze can actually affect your driving. To be on the safe side, be completely sober and alcohol-free throughout your motorcycle ride.
6. Helmets can render an accident survivor vegetable, bedridden and brain-damaged.
The helmet works to absorb the impact of a rider’s fall and keep the head from being injured; however, the gear can only do so much. A really fatal fall will result in a rider getting serious injuries in the head or otherwise, regardless of them being helmeted or not. Studies show, however, that those without helmets actually suffered heavier damage and that the injury was caused by a minor impact that could have been prevented by a helmet.
7. Other drivers generally don’t care about motorcycle riders.
It’s not that other drivers don’t care about motorcycle riders, it’s just that, drivers of other vehicles are, in most cases, unable to see motorcyclists from where they are. Riders tend to be unintentionally obscured by glare or other vehicles on the road near or next to them or get caught in traffic and become practically undetectable. Even motorcyclists get into accidents with fellow riders because of these.
To be more visible to other drivers, motorcyclists should wear the right gear that doesn’t only protect them but also keep them visible to others whom they’re sharing the road with. It is advised that they wear bright jackets and helmet, and set their beam on high when driving on daytime.
If riding as a group, you may use the latest technology such as a motorcycle Bluetooth headset as a safety precaution to communicate with everyone. Motorcyclists should pick the right model that fits into their requirements, budget, and lifestyle.
No matter how sharp or skilled you are as a rider, there is no guarantee that you will be safe on the road always. A little bit knowledge is a dangerous and wrong information, even more so. Be an educated rider, learn the truth and unlearn the fallacies; it’s the best defence you can have for yourself while on the road.