As an experienced Huntsville motorcycle injury lawyer, Pitman & Petro has a firm grasp on what it means to be a motorcyclist in Alabama. Motorcycles can give riders a sense of freedom on the road, but they also expose motorcyclists to increased risks. Maximize your enjoyment and reduce your risks by keeping yourself in the know as far as these common motorcycle myths.
Myth 1: Leather is for Fashion
Sure, stylish leather clothing can make you look the part when you take a cruise on your motorcycle, but it is not all about fashion. Leather is extremely useful when it comes to avoiding road rash in the unfortunate event of a motorcycle accident.
When you use leather clothing to protect your skin, you are preventing the serious risks that come from skin damage. Leather is better than denim and just about every other material at keeping you out of harm’s way on your motorcycle.
Myth 2: Other Drivers See You
It would be nice to believe that other motorists are constantly aware of your surroundings, but unfortunately, this just is not the case. Some drivers are excellent at paying attention on the road, but any Huntsville motorcycle injury lawyer can tell you how many times negligent drivers cause accidents.
Some people fail to check their surroundings completely before they make lane changes or turns, and this creates danger for all the other drivers around them, especially those who are on motorcycles. Even large vehicles can get lost in blind spots, and that is especially true for motorcyclists. Bikers are always looking for ways to help other drivers notice them before it is too late, which leads to the next myth.
Myth 3: Loud Bikes Save Lives
Some people believe that motorcycles are only loud because the owner wants to show off, but most motorcyclists believe their loud exhaust systems will help other drivers notice them. Unfortunately, a Huntsville motorcycle injury lawyer normally notices within their first few years that noisy bikes cannot help prevent accidents. There are a few possible reasons for this:
- Motorcycle exhaust systems push their noise to the rear, so other drivers will not hear you until you have already passed them. This does not help drivers notice a motorcycle in their blind spot.
- The noise can be very distracting for whoever is driving the motorcycle, and the constant roar of a loud bike numbs the senses enough to decrease awareness.
- People are naturally on edge when they drive, and loud noises can make the problem even worse. Sometimes other drivers will become panicked or even aggressive because of a noisy motorcycle, and this leads to bad decisions that ultimately cause accidents.
Normally when motorcyclists choose a louder machine, they are doing it because they want to keep themselves safe. That seems to make sense until you see the things a Huntsville motorcycle injury lawyer must deal with. The fact of the matter is that bikes with modified exhaust systems are more likely to be involved in accidents than stock motorcycles.
Myth 4: Helmets Block Your Sight and Hearing
Some motorcyclists think a helmet will limit their seeing or hearing in a way that can lead to crashes. Research shows that this is completely inaccurate. Riders who wear helmets are less likely to have an accident than riders who do not. There could be a few reasons for this, and the most likely is that riders who wear helmets are more aware of the dangers of riding a motorcycle, so they are more careful. In many cases, a helmet can also keep wind out of your eyes and ears, so you will see and hear better.
Even if a helmet cannot help you prevent an accident, it might save your life. Helmets absorb energy, so they help keep your head safe. This ability to reduce force also helps helmets prevent other injuries like broken necks. People who use helmets with their motorcycles are less likely to experience both head trauma and broken necks.
The Department of Transportation has clear standards for which kinds of helmets are best. Use one of these helmets to protect your head, and your chance of a fatal accident will decrease dramatically. Most motorcycle accidents occur at low speed, so the biggest concern is how far a rider falls before hitting the ground. Your head is the farthest thing from the ground, and is also vulnerable to injury, so it needs the most protection.
Myth 5: Highways Are More Dangerous
This myth seems like it should make sense, because faster speeds are so much scarier than slow speeds. Take it from your Huntsville motorcycle injury lawyer: the highway is safer for motorcycle riders. As we discussed under the last myth, most motorcyclists have accidents at lower speeds.
Part of this is because people are generally going straight on a highway, so the biggest danger is during lane changes. On city streets, however, other drivers are constantly joining and leaving the flow of traffic. When you get your motorcycle on the highway, you have less of a chance of trouble from pedestrians and cross streets.
Myth 6: You Should Lay Your Bike Down During a Crash
Some motorcyclists try to tell their Huntsville motorcycle injury lawyer that they intentionally wiped themselves out to avoid a crash. This may be less embarrassing than admitting to losing control of the bike, but it is a huge mistake. You should almost never intentionally lay your bike down to avoid a crash.
If you lay your bike down, you are going to slam into the ground. You may even end up pinned under another vehicle, or you could slide into a barrier. If you have enough time to think about putting your bike on the ground, just try to avoid the accident instead.
Myth 7: Drivers Ignore Motorcycles
Unless you come across an especially crazy motorist, there is no reason to believe they do not care about your safety. Motorcycles are more likely to be involved in accidents, but that is only because they are often harder to see. You can help correct this problem by making yourself more visible.
It can be hard to find bright colors when you pick out your motorcycle gear, but there are always options. Even if you wear dark leather clothes to protect your body, you can find a brightly colored helmet. Use your motorcycle’s high beam, too, especially when it starts to get dark outside.
Myth 8: Big Bikes Are Safer
Motorcycle riders feel safe on bigger bikes sometimes, but the size of the bike will not help protect you very much. Sometimes a big bike can do exactly the opposite, because it is heavier and harder to steer. If you are not sure how big of a bike to get, keep in mind that smaller options are easier to handle, which helps you avoid accidents. This is especially true for beginners.
Huntsville Motorcycle Injury Lawyer
The best attorneys in Alabama are confident in their ability to win your case. Pitman & Petro Attorneys at Law offer free consultations, so there is no fee unless we win your case. When an accident occurs, we believe our clients need reliable help without the fear of being charged for the wrong services.
We want to be your North Alabama motorcycle injury lawyer. You can reach the Pitman & Petro Attorneys at Law by calling (256) 533-5000. Our office hours are 8:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m., but we are available 24/7 to take your call. You can also contact us online, where we use a LiveChat to get you the answers you need in a hurry. If you have been in a motorcycle accident, reach out to us as soon as possible so we can give you the help you deserve.