South Carolina motorcycling a wonderful experience, but stay safe

With summer upon us, South Carolina bikers will be hitting the road on both short and long motorcycle trips. Whether it be along the beautiful Atlantic shoreline, on the streets of historic towns like Charleston, over scenic Lowcountry roads or through the rocky hills of the Piedmont region, the beauty of the state is more accessible when experienced outside on a motorcycle.

Motorcycle crashes

However, motorcyclists are at a huge disadvantage to any larger motor vehicle in case of a collision for obvious reasons: size and physical vulnerability. Cyclists need to follow the rules of the road and drive defensively to stay safe in traffic from motorcycle accidents with cars, vans, SUVs, buses and trucks.

Tragic Hartsville incident

A sad example of such a crash happened in Hartsville in May 2013 when a 60-year-old father traveling on his motorcycle was fatally hit by a left-turning car in the very early morning hours of a Thursday. According to wbtw.com, the elderly driver of the automobile was charged with the offense of failure to yield.

Motorcycle accident deaths

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, national motorcycle fatalities more than doubled in the decade between 1999 and 2008, with at least 34,000 cyclists dying during those years, with the highest numbers only in their 20s. The National Center for Statistics and Analysis reports that in 2008 115 motorcyclists died in accidents in South Carolina, with about three-quarters of them not wearing helmets and just over half having some level of alcohol in their bodies.

Safety tips

Understand your motorcycle's operation thoroughly and keep it well maintained. Stay out of the blind spots of other vehicles and maintain a safe distance. Don't speed and slow down for the weather conditions. Be sure to adhere to the state law requiring that a moving motorcycle always have its headlight turned on.

Although South Carolina law only requires motorcycles aged 20 or younger to wear helmets and eye protection equipment, older bikers should also seriously consider the added protection helmets and eye shields can provide in accidents. Wear clothing made of leather or other protective fabric to help prevent road rash and lacerations if flesh meets pavement.

Drinking alcohol or taking illegal drugs (or legal drugs that impair riding skills) and then getting on a motorcycle should never be an option.

Negligent car and truck drivers

Sometimes no matter how much care a motorcyclist takes, the driver of another vehicle is negligent or careless and an accident happens. Typical biker injuries from such crashes can include:

  • Leg and foot injures
  • Head and brain injuries
  • Scrapes, cuts, burns and rashes

If you are hurt in a South Carolina motorcycle accident, or a loved one killed, speak with an experienced South Carolina personal injury attorney to learn about your legal options for potential recovery.