It is often claimed that a loud motorcycle is a safe motorcycle. People say that because they are louder, other drivers are more likely to hear them coming and avoid hitting them.
That’s not exactly true, though, and it’s important that you know the real science behind making a motorcycle louder or quieter.
A loud motorcycle is a safety myth
Unfortunately, it would appear, based on a study from 2021, that a louder motorcycle isn’t necessarily a safer motorcycle. In the study, six motorcycles were revved around a stationary vehicle. They revved at different distances and were battling varied interior noise levels within the car, too.
What the study found was that loud pipes on motorcycles aren’t helping to save lives. At 50 feet away, the person inside a vehicle can’t hear the motorcycle. As the distance closes to 33 feet, the motorcyclist is more likely to be heard, but ambient interior noise still blocks much of the sound.
When a motorcycle is right next to a vehicle, it can often be heard, but that also depends on the sound inside the vehicle and if the vehicle’s windows are rolled up.
There are other issues with loud motorcycles
Loud motorcycles cause a lot of noise pollution. There is also the problem that the sound travels in such a way that motorists may not be able to tell where it’s coming from.
While having loud pipes does help let drivers know that there is a motorcyclist somewhere in the vicinity in some cases, the reality is that you can’t rely on them to keep you safe.
Other options, like wearing brighter colors, planning ahead when approaching intersections and being deliberate in your actions on the road are all more helpful.
You deserve fair treatment after a crash
Staying safe on a motorcycle is not always easy, and drivers may make errors that lead to crashes. If you’re hit, remember that you can take steps to make a claim against the at-fault driver. You have the same rights on the roads as others, and you deserve fair compensation as a victim of a collision.