Riding a motorcycle, especially on a busy highway, can be dangerous because there’s a higher risk of crashing into or being knocked down by a vehicle.
You might be surprised that the statistics are conflicting, though. What percentage of motorcycle riders crash on the road? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about seventy-two out of every 100,000 motorcyclists in America will be involved in a crash at some point. This is approximately 0.07% of bikers.
Further reports indicate that motorcycle riders account for 14% of all crash-related deaths on American roads. While this percentage may appear small, it represents a significant number of deaths that can be avoided. Motorcycle riders are twenty-eight times more likely to die in a car crash than passenger-vehicle occupants.
If you’ve recently invested in a motorcycle or are looking to, you need to know the risks. The first step towards safety is understanding why these crashes occur and how you can drive defensively. You should ask yourself: What is the primary cause of motorcycle crashes in Columbia, South Carolina?
Motorcycle Safety Risk in South Carolina
According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS), speeding and failure to give the right of way are the main causes of motorcycle crashes. The department also lists distraction, improper passing, and tailgating as other major reasons. But how dangerous is riding a motorcycle in South Carolina?
The Post and Courier site describes South Carolina as the most dangerous American state for motorcyclists. Motorbike riders in this state are often in more danger of crashing than in virtually every other state in the Southeast. In 2015, South Carolina recorded the highest rate of motorcyclist fatalities since 2007.
In 2016, at least 135 motorcyclist fatalities were reported on the state’s roads, which was the highest number of this century. These statistics should give you a vivid picture of the situation on South Carolina roads and compel you to be more careful when riding your motorcycle. They should also give you a reason to research where you can find a reputable South Carolina motorcycle accident attorney to advocate for you if you need it.
Motorcycle Accidents by Counties in South Carolina
According to Greenville News, motorcycle crashes increased significantly in March of 2021. This trend has persisted for nearly two years, making Greenville the most dangerous county in South Carolina. In 2021, this county reported sixteen motorcyclist fatalities, which is 10.3% of the total fatalities reported in the entire state.
Greenville County is the most populated county in South Carolina, which could be a contributing factor for this high statistic. However, there are many other contributing factors, including failure to wear helmets and reckless driving by motorcyclists.
The second most dangerous county for motorcyclists in South Carolina is Spartanburg County, which reported twelve motorcyclist fatalities in 2021, followed by Pickens County which accounted for ten fatalities. Anderson County also made it on the list of motorcyclist fatalities provided by the SCDPS in 2021 with nine fatalities.
Unfortunately, motorcycle riders are at a higher risk of getting involved in catastrophic crashes than other motorists. While the motorcycle laws in South Carolina serve to protect riders, they could be doing the contrary, further exacerbating the problem.
Factors Leading to Motorcyclist Injuries and Fatalities
Article Twenty-Nine of the South Carolina Motorcycle Laws states that only motorbike riders and passengers who are under twenty-one years of age are required to wear protective gear like helmets, face shields, knee caps, goggles, etc. This part of the law allows riders and passengers above twenty-one years of age to ride motorbikes without protective gear, thus increasing the risk of accident fatality.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), helmets minimize the risk of fatal motorbike crashes by 37% and the risk of sustaining a serious head injury by 69%.
The South Carolina law allows riders to get motorcycle licenses without training. All they must do is show proof of road adeptness and they’re granted a license. However, bike riders are required to do written and vision tests as well as safety education courses or pass the road skills test conducted by the Department of Motor Vehicles. These tests involve taking turns, weaving through traffic, and stopping at a high speed. Untrained motorcyclists face a higher risk of crashing than their trained counterparts.
Always keep these statistics and insights in the back of your mind when riding your motorcycle in Columbia, South Carolina. Also, take time to undergo the necessary motorcycle training and test your road skills before you get on your bike. If you follow our advice, you may increase the amount of compensation you’re entitled to if you are in an accident. Learn about what you may be entitled to in an accident on our website.