You see it on bumpers and motorcycle helmet stickers, the proclamation that “Loud pipes save lives!” The premise is that the louder the pipes on the motorcycle, the likelier that the drivers on the roads around the motorcyclists will hear them coming and avert a collision.
But, as it turns out in real life, that adage might not be true anymore.
Why loud pipes are no longer sufficient warning
If you are old enough to remember the automobiles of the 60s, 70s and even early 80s, you’ll recall that most had no standard air conditioning (AC) option. Because that was then considered a luxury feature for many vehicles, drivers simply rode around with their windows down to keep air circulating through the car or truck cab.
With AC now a standard feature in almost all vehicles rolling off the production line, that means that far fewer car windows are left down. So, while loud pipes did indeed at once help alert drivers to a motorcyclist’s approach, they are much less effective with newer vehicles designed to keep road noise out.
European researchers agree loud pipes are not effective
While no comparable studies in the USA could be found, the Dutch noise emissions specialist Enviro Consult partnered with Romania’s Polytechnic University of Bucharest’s Department of Road Vehicles and the Association for the Development of Motorcycling in Romania in the research study. These experts concluded that noise from loud exhaust pipes is insufficient to warn drivers that motorcycles were approaching until it was too late to do anything to have a safer outcome.
What happens after a motorcycle wreck can shape your future life
The repercussions for bikers “lucky” enough to survive the initial crash can still be quite disabling — and often permanent. Holding negligent drivers liable for your injuries, losses and damages can get you the compensation you will need to rebuild your life.