Kentucky motorcyclists love sharing the open road with one another and enjoying the fresh air as it sweeps past their bikes. There’s nothing quite like a weekend motorcycle trip. One other thing bikers in our state share, unfortunately, is a great deal of public misinformation. A surprisingly large percentage of drivers of passenger vehicles and motorcycles alike are incorrectly informed about motorcyclists and motorcycle accidents.
To help stop the spread of misinformation, here are 5 of the most common motorcycle accident myths and the truths behind them:
- Other Drivers Can Easily See Motorcyclists
Many motorcycle riders feel that drivers in passenger vehicles and trucks can easily see their bikes since they have greater visibility and larger mirrors to assist them. This is false. The smaller size of a motorcycle makes it easy for them to hide in a passenger vehicle’s or truck’s blind spots. Furthermore, larger vehicles have more blind spots which can be potentially dangerous.
Motorcyclists should always ride with visibility in mind. Do your best to stay visible to all drivers. This means staying out of blind spots, keeping a safe distance from nearby cars, making eye contact with other drivers whenever possible, signaling, dressing in highly-visible colors, and taking an extra second before making turns, etc., to make sure you’re seen.
- Highways Are More Dangerous Than Surface Streets
Many bikers think that riding on highways is more dangerous than riding on surface streets. The NHTSA busted this myth in 2007 when it revealed that over 90% of all motorcycle crashes occur on surface streets. Traveling on highways can result in devastating accidents due to the high speeds at which cars travel at, but more accidents themselves occur on surface streets—including motorcycle accidents. This is partially because more turns, lane changes, and stopping/slowing occurs on surface streets.
- Full Helmets Restrict Visibility
Some motorcycle riders feel that full helmets restrict visibility. This is also a myth. Full-face helmets provide riders with the full 210-degrees of view needed to view everything around them. A motorcyclist’s peripheral vision will not suffer whatsoever by wearing a full-size helmet—and they’ll potentially protect their head, brain, and face during an accident should one occur.
- Lane Sharing is Illegal and Dangerous
Many drivers of passenger vehicles get angry when they see two motorcyclists sharing a lane and feel that this is act is illegal. Sharing lanes is, in fact, legal for motorcyclists, and aids to ensure both riders are visible and more protected should an accident occur. It’s also a safe way for them to travel and makes it easier to communicate/keep an eye out for each other.
- Motorcyclists Are Without Options After a Crash
If you’ve been in a serious motorcycle crash in Kentucky, you may feel that the other driver’s insurance company does not have your back. Many insurance companies wrongfully place blame on the motorcyclist—even when they did not cause the accident. If this situation sounds familiar, you should know that you absolutely have legal options. Motorcyclists have just as many rights as drivers of passenger cars and you should take every action you can to protect those rights.
There’s no denying the fact that riding a motorcycle is dangerous. According to the NHTSA, motorcycle fatalities occur 30 times more often than fatalities involving passenger vehicles. Despite this fact, by being alert when driving around motorcycles or when riding responsibly when we are on a motorcycle ourselves, we can all do our part to stop these dangerous crashes from occurring.
If you or someone you love was involved in a motorcycle accident in Paducah, Kentucky, you deserve peace of mind. Get in touch with Daryl T. Dixon Law to find out how you can potentially receive compensation for a wreck caused by a negligent driver. With the help of a Paducah motorcycle accident attorney, you and your family can move forward.