Legal Guide

4 Motorcycle Myths You Should Forget

Picture: Harley-Davidson

Riding a motorcyclist can be freeing. You can feel the wind on your body, be closer to nature, and enjoy the adrenaline rush from riding some of the most challenging roads in the country.

However, when you’ve spent so much time reading about motorcycle accidents, their causes, and who’s to blame, it’s easy to pick up information that’s not factually correct, sometimes putting you in a challenging situation should you end up involved in an accident.  

If you want to be as well-informed as possible to avoid any complications resulting from misinformation, take note of the following well-known myths.

Myth: You Can Ride a Motorcycle With a Car License

As most lawyers from law firms like the Law Offices of Kamela James will tell you, you can’t ride a motorcycle with a car license, even if you think you can. You might have the skills to ride a bike, but you can’t legally do so on the road unless you’ve obtained a motorcycle endorsement for your license.

In most states, you must undertake and pass both knowledge and practical tests to receive your license. Some motorcyclists might not know this since 36% of motorcyclists involved in fatal accidents in 2020 weren’t riding with valid licenses.

Myth: It’s Safer to Ride Without a Helmet

There’s no denying that it can be freeing to ride a bicycle or motorcycle without a helmet and feel the wind rushing through your hair. However, it’s much safer to ride with a helmet than without one, and you aren’t at an increased risk of a neck or spinal cord injury when you wear one.

Ask any attorney, and they’ll be able to share the statistics and research relating to accident injuries resulting from a lack of helmet use. According to studies, motorcyclists wearing helmets are at a lower risk of spinal cord injuries and also experience fewer neck injuries.

Myth: It’s Safe to Drink and Ride Under the Limit

You might think you’re perfectly fine to drink and ride as long as your blood alcohol content is under the legal limit, but that’s not always the case.

Riding a motorcycle requires excellent judgment, balance, and coordination. All these can be affected when you’ve consumed alcohol, even if you remain under the legal limit. It’s in your best interest to avoid drinking alcohol when you intend to ride or drive anywhere.

Myth: Lane Splitting Is Safe

Lane splitting involves riding your bike between lanes of slow-moving or stopped traffic traveling in the same direction as you. As motorcyclists have a smaller profile than cars, they’re often able to bypass traffic congestion and make it to their destinations quicker.

While lane-splitting has been declared relatively safe in traffic traveling at speeds of 50mph or less, with the motorcyclist traveling no more than 15 miles over the rate of other vehicles, it’s not always safe. Studies found that the injury risk rose exponentially with a 15-plus-mile speed differential.

It’s only natural to take what other motorcyclists say as gospel, especially when you haven’t had much on-road experience yourself. However, not everything you hear will be accurate. If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident and need to know all the facts, a personal injury lawyer can be one of the best sources of information.

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