Categorized | Opinion

Motorcycles Myths Everywhere

By David PeelDavid Peel

With the warmer weather, come the Harleys, Hondas and Hayabusas.
Who can blame our motorcyclists for wanting the freedom and fun that comes from leaning through the turns and feeling the wind in their hair (or at least against their helmets).
Urban legends abound when it comes to motorcycle accidents. Here are some common myths that you may have heard:
“Helmets do no good.” It is understandable that one would believe that when severe motorcycle crashes sometimes end with the grisly scene of a rider’s head still tucked away in a helmet, many yards away from the remainder of the deceased rider. However, no helmet can help in that kind of crash. Helmets preserve the head in the long vertical falls that almost always occur, even in with lower speed impacts.  Since lower speed accidents are actually the most common, the law requiring helmets in Tennessee saves lives.
“Helmets preserve you as a vegetable when it would be better to have died.” This type of fatalistic thinking is common in bikers (“When its your time…”). However, this myth is unfounded. Bikers without helmets wind up brain inured from very minor crashes.  Again, often just from the fall from riding height onto asphalt.
“Lay it down to avoid direct hits.” Sliding into a vehicle only puts the biker hard against it or under it. However, if one is upright and hits a car’s front quarter panel (the one I see most often in my injury law firm) the motorcyclist usually goes airborne. I think there is not a great solution to this common type of crash. Either the biker winds up under the car, into the car, or over the car. No good options remain. This fact is why motorcycles will never be even as close to as safe as driving a vehicle.
“Skilled riders are safe enough to avoid accidents.” When Aunt Ruth pulls her land yacht out thirty feet in front of the rider, because, of course, she doesn’t see the single headlight, mad skills are not as helpful as a set of wings.  Assuming no wings, then, hopefully, the rider is dressed for the crash, because they are–at that moment–a human cannonball.
Peel seeks justice for those injured in car accidents, work place incidents, medical malpractice, and nursing homes. He often addresses churches, clubs and groups without charge. Peel may be reached through PeelLawFirm.com wherein other articles may be accessed.

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