Originally Posted by windmill
The only thing loud pipes may save you from is somebody merging into you, if you don't have the skill to avoid that or use your horn, your going to kill yourself anyway.
In my own experience, horns just piss people off. And then while cruising quietly and slowly through a residential section, a fist on the hood of the car that had just pulled out in front of me as I went by definitely slowed that driver down a bit and got him a quick ass-chewing from the woman sitting next to him. Out on the open road, loud pipes cause people to stop tailgating ...
... but my most-life-saving "loud pipes" experience once happened on a hot afternoon in North Carolina (where psychologically-deafening and -sight-blocking helmets are required). The light had turned green and I had taken a look and begun moving, but then some woman in a cage with no muffler "came out of nowhere" and ran the light and my wife heard her coming and stopped me about two seconds before we would have been broadsided.
So yes, loud pipes do