Motorcycles Are Everywhere: South Carolina Reminds Drivers to Share the Road
A motorcycle accident can have devastating consequences
Motorcycles are a beloved mode of transportation in South Carolina. However, motorcycle riders are at a much higher risk of being involved in a serious or fatal motorcycle wreck than those in cars or other larger vehicles.
As such, it is crucial for drivers to share the road and remain aware of their surroundings to prevent motorcycle accidents. In the event you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident, it's also important to seek the guidance of an experienced attorney who can help you navigate the legal system and fight for the compensation you deserve.
South Carolina motorcycle accident facts and figures
Statistics provided by the South Carolina Department of Public Safety in its 2020 Traffic Collision Fact Book reveal that the number of registered motorcycles in the state has increased steadily over the years, from 42,257 in 1981 to 115,092 in 2020.
It is no secret that motorcycles are overrepresented in fatal traffic crashes. In 2021, a total of 5,932 motorcyclists lost their lives on U.S. roads, accounting for 14% of all traffic fatalities. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, this marks the highest number of motorcyclist fatalities recorded since at least 1975.
The statistics in South Carolina paint a similarly concerning picture. In 2020, there were 1,851 motorcycle collisions in the state, resulting in 110 fatalities and 1,358 personal injuries. These numbers are particularly alarming given that motorcycles represent only a tiny fraction of registered vehicles on the road.
Other key takeaways from the report include:
- While the number of fatal motorcycle accidents in South Carolina decreased from 139 in 2016 to 110 in 2020, the number of injury-causing accidents remained relatively the same over the same period.
- Most motorcycle crashes in South Carolina (about 60%) occurred during the daytime and in clear or cloudy weather. Only a small number (less than 2%) occurred during other weather conditions such as rain.
- The number of motorcycle accidents in the state varied by day of the week, with weekends (Saturday and Sunday) having more collisions than weekdays.
- The highest number of crashes occur between 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm.
- Secondary roads had the highest number of collisions involving motorcycles, followed by US primary roads and SC primary roads.
- The total number of motorcycle collisions in the state has varied over the years, with a peak of 2,329 crashes in 2016 and a low of 1,249 in 1995. However, the number of collisions has been relatively consistent over the past decade.
To avoid causing a motorcycle accident, it's crucial for drivers to remain alert and share the road.
Importance of sharing the road
Motorcyclists are much more vulnerable on the road than drivers of larger vehicles. In a crash, they are much more likely to suffer serious injuries or death.
This is because motorcycles lack the protection of a metal frame and airbags, leaving riders exposed to the full impact of a collision.
Additionally, motorcycles are smaller and more difficult to see than other vehicles, making them particularly susceptible to accidents caused by driver inattention.
Here are some tips for safely sharing the road with motorcyclists:
- Check your blind spots: Motorcycles can easily disappear into a driver's blind spots, so it's important to double-check mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes, merging, or turning.
- Keep your distance: Motorcycles can stop much more quickly than cars. Keeping a safe following distance is important to avoid rear-ending a motorcycle and possibly ejecting the rider from the bike.
- Use turn signals: Always use turn signals to alert other drivers, including motorcyclists, of your intended movements.
- Avoid distracted driving: Distracted driving is dangerous and causes drivers to overlook bikers. Avoid texting, eating, or engaging in other distracting activities while driving so that you don't cause a motorcycle wreck.
- Look twice: Motorcycles can be difficult to see, so it's important to take an extra moment to scan for motorcycles before making a turn or changing lanes.
By remaining vigilant on the road, drivers can help keep themselves and motorcyclists safe. Remember, motorcycles are everywhere, and sharing the road is crucial for the safety of all drivers.
Experienced South Carolina motorcycle accident lawyers
If you were injured or a loved one died in a motorcycle accident in Beaufort, SC, or anywhere in the Lowcountry, you need an experienced legal team to help you navigate the complicated aftermath.
At Twenge + Twombley, our motorcycle accident attorneys are committed to fighting for maximum compensation for injured bikers. We pride ourselves on providing one-on-one attention to each client and building a solid and successful legal strategy on their behalf.
Don't wait to get the help you need if you've been injured in a South Carolina motorcycle wreck. Contact us today for a free case consultation and take the first step toward obtaining the justice and financial compensation you deserve.