What Do Studies Say About The “Loud Pipes Save Lives” Motto?
Being that I am a motorcycle accident attorney, I found a study that studied this phrase and whether the loudness of the pipes, exhaust pipes of the bike, lead and correlated to less motorcycle wreck events.
What they found was no, it is an absolute myth, and the reason is interesting. The main reason why its a myth is because most motorcycle wrecks do not occur where a motorist is striking the biker from the rear.
This is because head-on collisions minimize the effect of the loudness of your exhaust pipes, for obvious scientific reasons, which is your exhaust pipes are pointed behind you.
The noise is going backward, not to the sides or the front, so it’s less likely that the motorists that are going to potentially wreck with you aren’t going to hear you coming.
The number two reason why this is a myth is because most motorists have their windows up. They’re not driving convertibles, they typically have at least the radio on, they are talking with someone in the vehicle, they’re on the phone, etc. They’re distracted, and they’re not likely to hear the noise from your motorcycle.
Are There Situations Where Loud Pipes Help?
Yes, it does from time to time help. I’m sure there are instances out there where a motorist becomes aware of you just because of the noise of the bike, but it’s very unlikely. The study concludes that bikers should not rely on the noise that their bike creates to cause awareness of their existence on the road by other motorists.
Instead, the study suggests that bikers don’t go by the loud pipes save lives motto. They say to go to by the “be seen, not heard” motto, which means to do other defensive maneuvers to let motorists know you’re there other than just relying on the noise of your bike.
There’s several of these safety techniques, so stay safe out there, and remember to be a defensive motorcycle rider by implementing techniques to make yourself visible to other motorists. It’s really the only way you’re going to avoid collisions with other motor vehicles.