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Myths and misunderstandings about motorcycle safety

Whether you are a new or lifetime motorcyclist, it is always worthwhile to assess your riding ability and the steps you take to be safe. There are long-standing beliefs about motorcycles that many people adhere to that are either misleading or outright false.

Myths about motorcycles can have deadly consequences. Holding wrong assumptions about your bike and how you should ride can significantly impact your wellbeing. Take a look at common misconceptions below to understand why you should stop believing them.

Loud exhaust saves lives

It is no secret that motorcycles are significantly smaller than other vehicles, which makes it hard for drivers to take notice of you on the road. Some people think they can compensate for this by equipping their ride with loud, aftermarket exhaust systems. The myth is the louder exhaust will help motorists notice you and increase your safety. However, noisy pipes can make it difficult for you to be aware of surrounding sounds, such as other vehicles or sirens.

Helmets are ineffective or harmful

Many riders believe misinformation about helmet safety. One common harmful belief is that helmets obstruct your vision, making it dangerous to wear one. However, DOT-approved helmets provide riders with a sufficient field of vision. Another assumption is that helmets contribute to broken necks. In reality, helmets absorb shock and prevent neck injuries. Research and studies overwhelmingly show that helmets reduce the likelihood of motorcycle injuries.

Local streets are safer than highways

It may be easy to think you are safer as a biker in neighborhoods and city streets. While you may be going slower, this does not necessarily make you safer. Highways and interstates are actually often safer because all traffic is traveling in the same direction without any side streets or pedestrians.

The sooner everyone realizes these myths are debunked, the safer every motorcyclist will be.