Should motorcyclists try to be heard on the road?

Motorcycle riders face challenges in gaining the attention of other drivers. Some motorcyclists believe that if their bikes generate enough noise, such as through loud exhaust pipes, it will be enough to alert nearby Tennessee drivers to their presence. However, as the Huffington Post explains, a loud motorcycle is often insufficient to alert other motorists. There are a number of reasons why motorcyclists should not count on their noise to keep other drivers aware of their presence.

One major problem is that exhaust pipes are directed behind the bike. Motorists behind you are more likely to hear your pipes, but a driver in front of you is not. Unfortunately, this means you cannot count on a driver up ahead to hear you. This can cause all sorts of problems if you assume a forward motorist hears you and you enter that motorist’s blind spot. One wrong turn from that driver can cause a devastating accident.

You would also encounter problems while driving on high speed roads. Your exhaust pipes stand a good chance of being heard while driving through mildly trafficked neighborhoods with low speed limits. However, riding on a major highway or an interstate at sixty miles per hour is another matter. The sheer amount of noise from the surrounding vehicles plus the rearward direction of your pipes is going to make it much harder for other motorists to hear you.

Also, motorists tend to have their windows up, which is going to muffle a lot of outside sound. Some drivers may be engaged in conversations with passengers. Drivers also like to have their radios on. Even if a motorist is not blaring loud music, almost anything from talk radio to easy listening music is going to take up some of the attention of the driver. Basically, there are any number of ways a motorist can be distracted from hearing a nearby motorcycle engine.

Counting on surrounding drivers to hear your motorcycle is dangerous. The better bet is to drive defensively and do your best to keep you and your vehicle as visible as possible. Because motorcycle accidents have many different causes, do not read this article as legal advice. It is intended for educational purposes only.

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