Hudson Valley Debate: Do Loud Pipes Actually Save Lives?
I live on a street that is just off Route 9 in Poughkeepsie, and a lot of people use the road to get to the highway. That means lots of cars, and in the summer, lots of motorcycles. And we get our fair share of really loud vehicles. New model cars that sound like a speedway, and motorcycles that shake our windows. It’s not pleasant.
Recently new legislation was proposed that would require vehicles to cut down on the noise pollution or get fined up to $1000. I have heard so many people say that this would be horrible for motorcyclists because loud pipes save lives. In fact, I’ve heard this expression for years. Loud pipes save lives. But is it true? Do loud pipes actually save lives?
I decided to do a little research. According to autoweek.com, the answer is no. The study shows that in today’s modern cars, especially with music on, loud pipes don’t make a difference. You know what saves lives? Careful driving. For both drivers of cars and motorcycles.
I can’t even count how many times I’ve seen motorcyclists speeding on my road and then popping a wheelie. No loud pipes are going to save the driver from what could be a horrible outcome. Or I’ll see a motorcycle zipping past me on the shoulder to avoid traffic. That’s a pretty dangerous move that isn’t any safer because of loud pipes.
And automobile drivers need to pay attention and be more aware of what’s going on around them. It’s warm weather, and bikers are out in full force. Stay off of your phone, stop texting, use your mirrors and turn your music down.. And look. Twice, if you have to. Too many bikers have been hurt because a driver is programmed to look for cars, but not necessarily motorcycles. Before you make that left turn, make sure there is nothing coming. Not just cars, but also motorcycles, bicycles, and even pedestrians.
Studies show that loud pipes don’t save lives. Maybe in some cases they do, but you shouldn’t depend on that for your safety. Be careful, drive according to the rules of the road. Wear your helmet no matter how restricted it makes you feel. Watch out for cars because we know that too many drivers are oblivious. That saves lives.
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