Top 5 Motorcycle Myths
Before you get angry at a motorcyclist, be aware of five motorcycle myths.
- Are all motorcycle riders reckless? I’m here to tell you it’s just the opposite. That’s just not true.
Motorcycle riders don’t get the luxury of sitting in an enclosed vehicle, changing the channel on the radio, or getting their cell phone out even though they’re not supposed to be doing it.
We know people driving cars do not worry if there’s debris on the roadway. However, motorcycle riders have to pay more attention to the road than those who drive in cars; if a car goes over a pothole, the most that will happen is to get a flat tire.
But if a motorcycle hits a pothole, they might wreck their motorcycle and hurt or even kill themselves.
I’m a rider, and I drive a vehicle too. I know for a fact that I pay much greater attention to the roadway, to the signs on the road, and to other drivers than I do when I’m driving my car. Drivers of vehicles also have the luxury of airbags to protect them.
- On a motorcycle, you have nothing between you and the road or between you and another vehicle. Another myth that people have about motorcycles is that the pipes or mufflers they have on them are there just to be cool. Just because a motorcycle is loud doesn’t mean they’re doing it to annoy you or unnecessarily to draw attention to themselves.
It’s for safety reasons. They want to be heard because they need to be noticed by other vehicles. They can’t rely on just being seen. There’s a saying loud pipes save lives.
- Now, Hollywood would have you believe that any group of motorcyclists riding together are outlaws? Well, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Most motorcyclists who ride together as a group do so for a couple of good reasons. First, it’s easier to be seen and heard if you’re riding as part of a group. There’s safety in numbers. A second reason why is that they’re part of a fundraising organization, and they just get together on weekends and ride and support various causes.
They’re not part of an outlaw. How could they be outlaws? Will they break into a house and carry a flat-screen TV on the back of their motorcycle? Of course not. Don’t get the wrong impression just because you see a group of motorcyclists riding together.
- Most motorcycle riders who dress in leather do so for safety reasons.
The most common injury motorcycle riders face and have experienced is road rash. You’re grinding against the pavement of the road, and if you don’t have any protection on, like leather, the road will rip off the material you’re wearing and just tear your skin up.
They wear helmets for safety reasons, certainly in West Virginia.
Some states have a no helmet rule, and others don’t wear helmets. But the attire they wear is for safety and no other reason. It’s not to look tough.
- Most motorcycle accidents are the fault of the driver of an automobile. However, in many cases, a motorcycle accident happens at an intersection when a car makes a left hand turn in front of the motorcycle.
Other motorcycle accidents are when cars are either pulling out or backing out from a side road onto the lane where the motorcycle is traveling. In many cases, they don’t see the motorcycle because they are changing lanes, and they run into the motorcyclist on occasion.
Are there motorcyclists who split lanes and ride between cars down the lines? Yes, but that’s the rare occurrence rather than the norm. But by and large, in my 30 years of practice, most motorcycle accidents are the fault of other drivers, not the motorcycle.
As a driver of an automobile, you could do a lot to help make it safe for motorcyclists. First, make sure nothing is falling off of your vehicle into the pathway of a motorcycle that might be behind you.
If you’re driving a truck, secure your stuff in the back of your pickup truck. Don’t drive so close to a motorcycle; they will stop much quicker and at a much shorter distance than your vehicle. If you’re mowing in your yard, don’t throw grass clippings out on the roadway. If a cyclist is coming by the road on the curb and there are grass clippings, there’s a good chance that the motorcycle will wreck and the bike will go off from under the rider.
If your driveway is not paved, but it’s gravel or dirt road, coming in and out of that driveway might cause some debris to be put on the roadway, and that’s dangerous for a motorcycle rider. Make sure you clear the roadway next to your driveway, so you don’t endanger motorcyclists.
Those are just some of the things that you can do to make it safer for motorcycle riders.