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Do you believe these motorcycle myths?

Motorcycle enthusiasts may mistakenly believe some common myths about motorcycling that could potentially jeopardize their safety. Below are some common mistaken beliefs that could cost a rider his or her life.

-- Wearing a helmet affects riders' hearing so they don't hear danger approaching. Scientific research has proven that wearing an approved motorcycle helmet is the most vital protection motorcyclists can use.

-- Loud pipes save lives. You've seen it on stickers on bikes and hear it often coming from bikers, but the concept remains unproven. Drivers in a motorcyclist's hazard zone in front of the bike are unable to hear the pipes, while drivers on either side are annoyed and may even startle and make driving errors.

-- Laying your motorcycle down slows speed and can help you avoid an accident. The best way to slow a motorcycle in the event of a crash is to apply anti-lock brakes to well-maintained tires.

-- Bikers look cool and tough in their all-black ensembles. While this can definitely be a matter of opinion, wearing all black clothing severely decreases a motorcyclist's visibility to drivers. One study showed that simply wearing a white helmet instead of a black one decreases the accident risk by 24 percent. Wearing bright fluorescent clothing decreases the likelihood of a crash by 37 percent.

-- Believing that your riding skills don't require further training. All motorcyclists can benefit from additional training, as over time, reactions can slow down and vision can diminish. Learning about potential weaknesses allows riders to take corrective measures.

No matter how safe a rider is, however, he or she is still at the mercy of other drivers. Those who are hurt in accidents may need to pursue legal action against at-fault drivers.

Source: tucson.com, "5 myths that make motorcycle riding less safe," Jeff Dean, accessed Nov. 27, 2015

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