There are more myths about motorcycle safety than there are walnuts in the Central Valley of California. Well, maybe not that many, but myths are dangerous because when people follow them they can lead to serious injuries and even death. Let’s dispel the myths and focus on reality.
A few common myths are:
• “If you’re going to crash, lay the bike down.” This is rarely the best way to reduce injuries in an impending collision. It’s going to depend on the exact situation which includes speed, the road surface, and many other factors. Don’t ever just “lay the bike down” if you think you might crash. Training is the key.
• “A good helmet will keep you safe on a bike.” Helmets will help, but will in no way guarantee your safety. In 2015, 40 percent of motorcyclists killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes were not wearing a helmet. That means 60% were.
• “Roads and streets are safer than the interstate.” A recent insurance survey found that 52 percent of reported crashes occurred five miles or less from home and a whopping 77 percent occurred fifteen miles or less from home. Why? People have a natural tendency to drop their guard when they are in familiar territory. In other words, they get careless. On a motorcycle you can be seriously injured or killed in a collision going 20 miles per hour or less.
• “Loud pipes save lives.” This is one that you hear all the time, but the physics just don’t add up. Pipes are called tailpipes because they point to the rear and the sound goes away from the bike. The majority of collisions that are car vs. motorcycle are caused by the driver of the car because they did not look for and did not see the bike. It’s better to drive defensively and not rely on sound. Training teaches riders to avoid collisions.
Southern California Motorcycle Training
What can you do today to boost your chances of coming home safe and sound after a ride? Studies and our own experience have taught us that
(1) Training and
(2) Safety gear
are both steps that, when taken, will immediately lower your chances of having an accident and improve your chances of coming away from a collision with fewer and less serious injuries.
In the future we’ll discuss safety gear in more detail, but as a start: Helmet, riding jacket and gloves, knee protection, and riding boots. And don’t just buy what looks good, do some research and get advice from experts what is the safest equipment.
We are currently working with motorcyclists in San Diego County, Orange County, and Los Angeles County. Please call us and ask about our training classes at 858 412 RIDE (7433)