Anyone who drives on the road should be aware of basic safety tactics, but motorcyclists are at special risk. When you're riding on a motorcycle, you don't have a metal cage protecting you from the road or from the impact of another vehicle, so a crash can cause much greater physical damage to a motorcyclist than it can to the average driver. That's why it's especially important that you don't fall for motorcycle safety myths that fail to keep you safe, or that could put you at even more risk in the long run. Take a look at three motorcycle safety myths and the truth behind them.
You Only Need to Buy a New Helmet If You Crash
Hopefully, you know that if you are in an accident on your motorcycle, you need to trade the helmet that went through the crash in for a new one before you get back on your bike. Once it's been through a crash, the polystyrene foam layer of your helmet is compromised, and it won't keep you as safe the next time, so it's important that you get a new helmet. Unfortunately, this may leave you thinking that as long as you don't get into a crash, it's fine to keep wearing the same helmet indefinitely.
The truth is, your helmet has an expiration date. That polystyrene foam liner will biodegrade slowly, but eventually it will start to break down and become less effective, even if you never get into an accident. Manufacturers typically recommend replacing your helmet about seven years after the date that it was produced. You can find the production date by checking the sticker located underneath the foam comfort lining. Keep your head safe when you ride by replacing your helmet by or before that seven year mark.
If A Crash Is Inevitable, You Should Lay Your Bike Down
You've probably heard this advice before – maybe even from experienced bikers. And it's not uncommon to see motorcyclists in movies apply this technique. However, those movie motorcyclists are most likely experienced stunt doubles, and in the real world this isn't nearly as effective a technique as it's made out to be.
If you think about it for a moment, you'll see why laying down your bike is rarely a good idea. Tire rubber has plenty of traction, and your tires are designed to grip the road and help you stop. If you're trying to stop your bike before you hit something, you're far better off relying on your brakes and tires than laying the bike down – the smoother plastic and chrome on the side of your bike has far less traction than your tires. And if you're trying to get out of the way of an object or an oncoming vehicle, you're far better off staying upright and steering. Laying your bike down while it's moving simply turns it into a projectile – and you have no control over the direction it takes. There are few, if any, circumstances where laying your bike down is the better option. The odds are good that anyone who tells you they laid their bike down on purpose simply doesn't want to admit to losing control over their bike.
Loud Pipes Save Lives
This one is tricky. Do loud pipes save lives? The argument does make some sense – motorcycles are sometimes hard for drivers in cars to see, so making sure that you can be heard seems logical. But the truth is that there's no proof that loud pipes save lives. However, there's also no proof that they don't. Anecdotal arguments exist for both positions, but until there is definitive evidence, no one can conclusively claim to know the truth.
No matter what your position is on loud pipes, it makes sense to take precautions that conclusively do save lives. Wear reflective clothing and make sure that all your lights work the way that they should. The more easily you can be seen, the better. Consider adding accessory lights if your local laws allow it. Don't rely solely on the noise your bike is making to keep you safe from accidents.
Sometimes, nothing you can do can prevent a motorcycle accident. If you're injured in an accident, a motorcycle lawyer from a law firm like Scherline And Associates in your area can help you recover compensations for your injuries and losses.