Whether you enjoy taking your bike on short trips, long trips or it’s your primary mode of transportation, staying on top of motorcycle safety is essential. But not all advice is created equal. Don’t be fooled by these six common motorcycle safety myths.

MYTH: Helmets impair sight.

FACT: Federal safety standards mandate helmets provide a 210-degree field of vision, preventing your peripheral vision from being obstructed.

MYTH: A helmet won’t make a difference in a crash.

FACT: According to a 2018 study, helmets were found effective in protecting motorcycle crash injury victims from mild to severe head injuries. The U.S. Department of Transportation estimated motorcycle helmets reduced the risk of death by 37% and saved approximately 1,859 lives.

MYTH: Drivers can always see you.

FACT: One of the most important motorcycle safety tips for both new and advanced riders? Drive defensively. Motorcycles are less visible than cars, which means it’s essential to make every effort to be as visible as possible to other automobiles and their drivers on the road. To make yourself more visible, avoid riding in other drivers’ blind spots or riding too closely to other vehicles. It is also advisable to wear bright colors and think about how you are positioned on the road to reduce the likelihood you are hidden behind anything. 

MYTH: City streets are safer than highways or interstates.

FACT: According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 12% of motorcyclist deaths in 2017 were on interstates and freeways. On non-interstate major roads, 53% of motorcycle deaths occurred, while 32% occurred on minor roads.

MYTH: Protective gear only helps in a crash.

FACT: It’s true, wearing motorcycle-specific gear such as a leather or Kevlar jacket, long pants, gloves, closed-toe footwear, a helmet and goggles can help protect you from the effects of a crash. But motorcycle gear can also help protect you from less-than-ideal weather conditions. When you head out for a ride, leave your shorts, T-shirt and sandals at home and replace them with more protective riding apparel.  

MYTH: Antilock brakes are a luxury — not a necessity.

FACT: IIHS reports motorcycles with antilock brakes (ABS) brakes were 31% less likely to be involved in a fatal crash than motorcycles without ABS brakes.

Ready to Ride

Talk to your Farm Bureau agent to be sure your motorcycle insurance offers the right amount of protection. And if you bundle your motorcycle coverage with your auto and/or home insurance, you could save time and money. Be sure to ask your Farm Bureau agent about our Farm Bureau Member’s Choice policy.