It’s clear that motorcycle accidents are a problem, and many motorcycle riders will take numerous steps in order to stay as safe as possible. However, in many cases, their strategies might not work as well as they think. In some cases, their safety techniques might actually be making things worse.
Many people complain about the fact that motorcycles are loud. Motorcycle riders will often say that they can’t make their motorcycles any quieter, because the noise is actually part of a safety strategy. The idea is that if motorcycles are loud enough, drivers will be able to hear them approaching more easily. The motorcycles would have to be particularly loud, of course, because they would otherwise get drowned out by the other road noises.
It is true that drivers often do talk about how loud motorcycles are. However, they aren’t loud in any useful sense. The exhaust pipes of motorcycles are positioned in a way that the sound is channeled in a very narrow direction in the back of the motorcycle. That won’t matter very much to drivers who are already ahead of motorcyclists on the road. By the time the drivers actually hear the motorcyclists, it might already be too late.
To make matters worse, a lot of drivers are already taking all sorts of measures in order to ensure that they won’t have to hear as much of the road noise. Many people avoid rolling down their windows, and drivers often listen to music or audio books while they’re driving anyway.
Drivers usually rely on their eyes when they’re on the road, and that can make things particularly dangerous for motorcycle riders. Many drivers won’t anticipate the presence of motorcycle riders in the first place, and they won’t respond quickly enough when they do see them. The loudness of the average motorcycle just won’t make much of a difference, and that goes for even the biggest motorcycles.
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