Common Causes of a Motorcycle Accident in South Carolina
Riding a motorcycle can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it is important to remember that it is also dangerous. South Carolina has over 148,000 registered motorcycles, contributing to the state’s high rate of motorcycle accidents. So how dangerous is riding a motorcycle in South Carolina, and what are the most common causes of motorcycle accidents? Below, the Peace Law Firm discusses the most common causes of South Carolina motorcycle accidents and what to do if you or a loved one is injured in a motorcycle accident.
South Carolina Motorcycle Accident Statistics
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety found that one motorcyclist is killed every 2.3 days in South Carolina. Riding a motorcycle is one of the most dangerous travel methods in the United States. Motorcyclists are 28 times more likely to be killed in a crash than other vehicle drivers. They are also more likely to be seriously injured in a collision.
According to a recent study using 2021 data, South Carolina has the eighth-highest motorcycle fatality rate in the country. That same year, there were 2,146 motorcycle accidents in the state, resulting in 167 fatalities and 1,547 injuries. Additionally, 449 accidents resulted in property damage.
Helmets can save lives. Also, in 2021, 112 motorcycle fatalities in South Carolina involved unhelmeted riders. Wearing a helmet is the best way to protect yourself from a severe head injury in a crash.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in South Carolina
Most motorcycle accidents can be prevented, but they often happen because other drivers are negligent. In South Carolina, careless driving is the main reason motorcycle accidents occur. This includes things like distracted driving, speeding, and driving drunk. Other South Carolina motorcycle accident causes, like bad road conditions and motorcycle defects, can also play a role.
Drivers talking on the phone, texting, eating, or drinking are more likely to cause accidents. If you’re a motorcycle rider, it’s crucial to be extra aware of distracted drivers and to take steps to protect yourself, such as wearing bright clothing and using your turn signals early and often.
Speeding reduces a driver’s reaction time and makes it more difficult to avoid a collision with a motorcycle. When other drivers are speeding, they are unable to see you, increasing the possibility of a collision. It also increases the severity of injuries in an accident. For motorcycle riders, speeding can make it more difficult to control your motorcycle. If caught speeding, drivers could face a hefty fine and other penalties.
Alcohol and drugs impair judgment and reaction time, making it much more likely that a driver will cause an accident. If caught driving under the influence, drivers face serious consequences, including jail time.
Poor Road Conditions
Potholes, uneven pavement, and gravel roads can make it difficult to control your motorcycle. It’s important to be aware of road hazards and to slow down or avoid them if possible. In addition to road hazards, weather conditions can make motorcycle accidents more likely. Rain, snow, or ice can make the road slippery and hard to see, so it’s important to drive cautiously.
Defective brakes, tires, or steering can all cause motorcycle accidents. It’s necessary to have your motorcycle inspected regularly by a qualified mechanic. This can help you find any potential problems early on so you can fix them before they cause an accident. Fixing defects promptly is important because motorcycles are more vulnerable to accidents than cars, and even a small problem can have serious consequences.
Common Injuries Sustained in a Motorcycle Accident
Motorcyclists are more vulnerable in a crash because they do not have the protection of an enclosed vehicle. When a motorcycle crashes, the rider is more likely to be thrown from the bike and hit the road or another object. Motorcycle accidents can be deadly, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself. Here are the most common motorcycle injuries and how to avoid them:
- Head injuries. Head injuries are the leading cause of death and disability in motorcycle accidents. Always wear a helmet that fits properly and meets safety standards.
- Road rash. Road rash is a painful and scarring injury that occurs when skin slides across the pavement. To protect your skin, wear leather or other abrasion-resistant clothing.
- Fractures and broken bones. These are common in motorcycle accidents, especially in the legs and arms. Wearing protective gear, such as gloves, boots, and a jacket, can help reduce the severity of your injuries in a crash.
- Spinal cord injuries. Spinal cord injuries can be life-changing, causing paralysis and other serious complications. Wear a helmet and other protective gear to protect your spine in a crash.
- Internal injuries. Internal injuries can damage your organs and be deadly. Wear protective gear and follow traffic laws to reduce your risk of internal injuries.
By taking these steps, you can help protect yourself from the dangers of motorcycle accidents.
How to Sue If You’re Injured in a Motorcycle Accident
Suppose you’re injured in a motorcycle accident. In that case, you may be able to sue the driver or other party responsible for causing the accident or the motorcycle manufacturer if the bike was defective.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Talk to a personal injury lawyer. They can help you navigate the legal process and make sure your rights are protected.
- Gather evidence. This includes medical records, witness statements, and photos of the accident scene. The more evidence you have, the stronger your case will be.
- Send a demand. Before filing a lawsuit, you’ll typically send a demand letter to the at-fault party’s insurance company. The demand letter outlines your injuries, the other party’s fault, and the amount of damages you’re requesting.
- Negotiate a settlement. Most cases settle out of court. Your Greenville motorcycle accident attorney can help you negotiate with the insurance company to maximize your compensation.
- File a complaint with the court. If you can’t reach a settlement, you’ll need to file a complaint within three years of the accident, or you won’t be able to sue. This is a legal document that says the driver or manufacturer was careless and that their carelessness caused your injuries.
If you win your lawsuit, you may be awarded damages to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
The Peace Law Firm: Your Motorcycle Accident Legal Team
The Peace Law Firm team is here to help you with your motorcycle accident case. We’ll walk you through the entire legal process, from exploring your options to getting you the settlement you deserve. We have over 20 years of personal injury law experience and a proven track record of winning cases. Contact us today for a free consultation.