I’ve been treated to an interesting variation on the “conspicuity aids save lives” argument on an American-dominated forum I’ve been looking at recently.
It’s the “loud pipes save lives” claim.
The majority of riders who’ve responded to the thread claim that stock exhausts are too quiet and if they change them for something loud, it reduces the instances of being “cut off” by a car driver.
One of the recurring claims was that it helps prevent having a driver merge from an adjacent lane into the space the bike is occupying or about to occupy.
The obvious question is “why put yourself in a place where the driver wants to go?” with an aside about understanding and avoiding blind spots.
Someone even posted a on-bike video he’d shot from his own machine to show just how ‘bad’ car drivers are.
The rider came up a two lane slip which merged with three lanes to make a stretch of five lane highway. He was in the lefthand (ie. the outside lane of the on ramp) and as the traffic flow merged he edged slowly up and alongside the rear of the car in the righthand (inside lane) into the driver’s blind spot.
It looks like the two lanes dive back down an off-ramp further ahead, so not surprising the car tried to move left across the lane the bike was in onto what would be the main through carriageway.
Caught by the camera’s audio, the rider sounded the horn and unleashed a torrent of invective so promptly he was clearly expecting exactly that manoeuvre!
So you have to ask yourself if he knows it’s likely to happen why hasn’t he worked out how to put himself into a place in the traffic flow where the driver’s manoeuvre is not going to be an issue?