At Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys, we are bikers ourselves and we are proud to represent motorcyclists in personal injury cases. We know that bikers have it rough—both out on the roads, where they are not respected and often not even seen by car and truck drivers, and with insurance companies, who always want to blame the biker. They face unique challenges that can affect the outcome of their personal injury cases and result in them not getting the settlements they deserve. We often address issues of motorcycle safety and, in this article, we look at some of the common myths believed by both bikers and non-bikers about important safety issues.
Don’t Believe These Common Motorcycle Safety Myths
The summer months bring more motorcycles out on the roads and every year, new bikers join the pack. It’s important that experienced riders, new riders, and non-riders all understand what it takes to keep bikers safe. The Huffington Post and Allstate ask that you don’t buy in to these seven common myths about motorcycle safety:
- Leather jackets are only a fashion statement. Maybe they do look cool, but leather jackets and pants or chaps serve a purpose as well. The durable material protects the rider from scrapes and cuts in the event of a crash. Many bikers now wear high-tech material such as Kevlar or Cordura, but no matter what they choose, they should be wearing some kind of protection.
- It’s hard to see out of full-face helmets. Department of Transportation safety standards require that all full-face helmets provide at least a 210-degree field of vision so that peripheral vision is not restricted. Given the safety record of full-face helmets, all riders should be wearing them, no matter what their state’s law is regarding helmets.
- Bigger bikes are good for beginners. A good rule of thumb for new riders is to start small. Until they have some miles under their belts, new riders should be able to straddle their bikes with both feet flat on the ground, hold the weight of the bike, and not have too much power under them. Once a new rider gains experience, he or she can upgrade to a bigger bike.
- Noisy bikes make you stand out to cars. Some bikers believe that loud exhaust pipes will be heard by the drivers around them and notify them of the biker’s presence. However, the reality is that the noise your motorcycle makes is more likely to be directed rearward, where it won’t warn anyone who matters. Do not rely on noise to protect you from careless drivers.
- Drivers will see you. It is always safest to ride under the assumption that drivers will not see you rather than assuming they will. Stay out of their blind spots and always leave yourself an out in case a car suddenly cuts you off. These defensive riding tactics will go far to keep you safe.
- Local roads are safer than highways. With so many entrances and exits, lane changes, stoplights, and narrow lanes, local roads are more dangerous for bikers than interstates. In fact, 91 percent of all crashes between a motorcycle and passenger car occur on non-interstate roadways. Highways may travel at high speeds, but there are fewer changes to contend with, so they are safer in many ways.
- If you’re about to crash, lay the bike down. The only thing a rider should be thinking about when they are about to crash is how to avoid the crash. If you are focused on skidding out to protect yourself from a collision, you are not likely to see options for avoiding the crash altogether. Not to mention, the last place you should be in heavy traffic is lying on the pavement. Do all you can to avoid the crash and don’t worry about “saving” the bike.
Our Attorneys Help Bikers Who Are Victims of Careless Drivers
Even if you bought in to one of these myths, you do not deserve to be taken advantage of by an insurance company that doesn’t support motorcyclists. Call our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys to help you with your personal injury case. We are on your side.