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motorcycle_safetySo maybe the title is a little extreme, but there are a lot of safety myths that put motorcycle riders in harms way. Here are a few practices that you may think are keeping you safe, but are actually putting you in danger.

If they can’t see you, at least they can hear you: A lot of people use safety as an excuse to have loud pipes. But loud pipes don’t make you more visible to drivers. The rumble of noisy pipes is carried behind the motorcycle, and won’t do much to alert cars ahead of you, who are most likely to cause an accident.

Tip: Loud pipes are fine, but don’t let noise replace awareness.

If you are a good driver you won’t get hurt: Most motorcycle accidents aren’t caused by motorcycle riders. They are, instead, caused by the other vehicles on the road. So no matter how good of a rider you are, you are still in the path of various idiots.

Tip: Be confident not cocky. Never forget that you’re less than 90 degrees away from the hospital.

The interstates are the most dangerous place to ride: Riding at 80 mph seems like a dangerous prospect, but highway driving is relatively safe compared to city streets. On the highway, everyone is moving in the same direction. In the city, there are stop signs, red lights, intersections, pedestrians, bicycles, etc…

Tip: Don’t fear speed.

One drink is one too many: Drinking and driving is never a good idea, but especially on a motorcycle. Most states have a .08 BAC limit for operating both cars and vehicles, but that doesn’t mean that you should give yourself the same leeway with both modes of transportation.

The MSF reports that in 2007, more than a third of all motorcycle deaths involved alcohol. Most motorcycle clubs have even started enforcing a policy that no alcohol can be consumed during runs until the bikes are put away for the night.

Tip: When you are riding, ride. When you are drinking, drink. Try not to combine the two.

You’re better off without a helmet: Some riders will fight to their death over this one, but research shows that riders who wear helmets survive a higher percentage of accidents. Of course, some riders will contest that helmets reduce vision and therefore cause more accidents.

Tip: At the very least, abide by the state law. Safety issue or not, getting a $100 ticket sucks.

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

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