Riding a motorcycle safely requires adequate practice and knowledge about motorcycles. Getting reliable knowledge and information, however, can be a challenge that leads to problems and avoidable hazards for the average rider. Plenty of myths and misconceptions surround safe riding behaviors and motorcycle accidents so it is not uncommon for a rider to know more falsities than truths.
At McNabola & Associates, LLC, not only are we trusted motorcycle accident attorneys in Chicago, but we are also avid riders. To do our part in preventing motorcycle accidents, we have compiled a list of some of the most common myths about motorcycles and set about debunking them, hopefully stemming the tide of misinformation that new and veteran riders can encounter. If you still have more questions after reviewing this list, or if you know you need the help of our motorcycle accident lawyers regarding your claim, please feel free to contact us online to set up a free initial consultation.
Common Motorcycle Myths Debunked
- Motorcycle accidents are always caused by the rider, not another motorist.
Not only is this statement clearly nonsensical, there is zero evidence that motorcyclists cause more wrecks than other motorists. Motorcycle riders are more likely to get into an accident, but this does not speak of the causes of those accidents. Oftentimes, motorists in larger vehicles fail to check blind spots for smaller motorcyclists and swerve into them, or cut directly in front of them at left-hand turns.
- Lane splitting is an acceptable motorcycle riding practice.
In just a few states, lane splitting – or weaving between lanes on your motorcycle during high traffic – is legal. In Illinois, it is illegal. Lane splitting increases both the likelihood of getting struck by an inattentive motorist and the odds of you getting a traffic citation. When going on motorcycle road trips, look up the lane splitting laws of each state you’ll visit before you go. Better yet, avoid lane splitting to prevent accidents.
- Big motorcycles are better for novice riders.
Not necessarily. Every motorcyclist has a style of motorcycle that they prefer. Some new riders want a larger motorcycle because it feels more stable and gives them a sense of control and confidence. Others prefer lighter motorcycles, or even street bikes, due to their precision control. When you are obtaining your motorcycle license, it might be worth practicing on a few different types of rides, if you get that opportunity.
- You can prevent crash injuries by intentionally falling over sideways.
Some people call this “laying down” your motorcycle, and it is a popular trick in action movies. The hero sees danger directly ahead while riding a motorcycle and decides to intentionally drop off it, allowing both the bike and their own body to slide “painlessly” over the asphalt to a stop. Do not attempt this trick. It does not work and it does not make sense to force yourself to crash when other maneuvers could prevent a collision entirely.
- City streets are safer than highways for motorcycles.
People often associate the worst motor vehicle accidents with the high speeds of the freeway, but the truth remains that streets pose just as significant a threat to all motorists. Most traffic collisions occur at busy intersections due to motorists not obeying traffic signals. Cars, motorcycles, and trucks are all more likely to be hit on city streets than on a highway, where all vehicles are going in the same direction at similar speeds.
- Motorcycle helmets are actually dangerous to wear.
Of course not. Motorcycle helmets are specifically engineered to be comfortable and effective in an accident. If your helmet obscures your vision or causes head or neck pain, you have the wrong helmet. Go to a reputable motorcycle dealership and ask for assistance in selecting a properly fitting helmet. Never ride your motorcycle without wearing a helmet. Passengers also need to wear an adequate helmet when riding.
- Motorcycle riders are reckless by nature.
This myth is probably the most prevalent on this list, but not among experienced motorcycle riders. While a minority of motorcyclists are “thrill seekers” that do not obey the rules of the road, far more riders are extremely conscientious and careful when out on the roadway. Please do your part to debunk this myth by always adhering to the safest practices when operating your motorcycle.
Remember: If you are hurt in a motorcycle accident, our riders/attorneys at McNabola & Associates, LLC are here to help you.
Contact us at your first opportunity to schedule your free case evaluation and discover the benefits of #ridersrepresentingriders today.