How appropriate that May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, during which the Grand Strand features two major motorcycle rallies. This time of year, South Carolina Highway Department (SCDP) responds to more motorcycle wrecks than at any other time of year.
The Grand Strand Medical Center trauma team is getting ready for “bike month”, making sure they are prepared with an increase in staff, operating room availability and supplies needed for an increase in patients. “The trauma center also has extra blood on hand.”(WPDE.com) Trauma Medical Director, Dr. Antonio Pepe said, “Patients are coming in with more severe traumas…We want you to have fun. We want you to enjoy the Myrtle Beach area, we want you to come back year after year, but also think that you do have a family that you need to get back to and to make responsible choices.”
In an accident, motorcycle riders are about 28 times more likely to be killed, than passengers in an automobile. One reason is because they are riding out in the open, without a car’s structural frame to protect them. Therefore, it’s very important to wear the proper protection:
A helmet “meeting the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218” is the most important piece of protection. “Look for the DOT symbol on the outside back of the helmet…Learn more about choosing the right helmet.”(NHTSA)
Wear leather or heavy denim on arms and legs.
Make sure your ankles are covered by boots or shoes.
Wear gloves for a better grip, and to protect hands in a crash.
Wear brightly-colored clothing, to help you be more visible to other drivers.
It’s important to remember that on the roads, motorcyclists have the same rights as automobile drivers. They also have to obey all signs and signals, just like automobile drivers. However, they face some unique safety challenges: Motorcycles are smaller, which means they are less visible. Motorcyclists have to “downshift and weave to avoid bumps and road hazards.”(NHTSA)
What you can do as an automobile driver, to help motorcycle riders stay safe:
Take intersections extra slow, and proceed with caution. Use your side and rear-view mirrors, ensuring there is no one in your blind spots.
Stay Alert and Watch Closely for Motorcycles
Motorcycles are hard to see, and it is not easy to assess their distance from you. Weather (bright sun, rain, fog), curves in the road, and construction equipment can all make it harder to see a motorcycle on the road.
Weaving with Purpose
You may notice a motorcycle weaving. There are a couple of reasons for this: The driver is making sure you can see him/her, or the driver is dodging a hazard in the road.
“Motorcyclists often downshift or roll off the throttle to slow down instead of applying their brakes.” Therefore, you will not see any brake lights. Allow more space between your car and motorcycles, so you will have more time to notice when they are slowing down or stopping.(NHTSA)
Other precautions motorcyclists can take to keep themselves safe on the roads:
- Make sure you have the proper license to ride a motorcycle. All states require you to have a motorcycle license, even if you already have a driver’s license.
- Get accustomed to the feel of your motorcycle, and practice riding it in a controlled area BEFORE taking it out on the road.
- Check tire pressure, tread depth, brakes, headlights and signals before you ride.
- If you’re carrying a passenger, make sure he/she mounts the motorcycle AFTER the engine has started. The passenger should sit directly behind you, with hands on your waist, hips or belt, and feet on the foot rests at all times.
- Know and obey all traffic laws. Leave plenty of space between you and the vehicle in front of you, and ride where you are as visible as possible.
- Stay alcohol and drug-free.
The Law Offices of David L. Hood – Serving Car Accident Victims in South Carolina
If you have suffered in an accident on the roads in South Carolina, and hire us, the legal team at The Law Offices of David L. Hood will work to help you navigate the situation professionally. We have years of experience in helping people involved in serious accidents figure out the legal requirements and details needed to move forward after an accident. After gathering all the necessary information, we will pour our efforts into building your case to get a fair settlement or take it to court if the need arises.
Our entire team has years of experience representing various clients and car accident victims in South Carolina. Having a passion to help, we offer a free initial consultation where we provide candid legal advice on what options you may have. If you choose to work with us, we promise a contingent-fee based case, where you don’t pay unless we get a recovery in your case.
You can find our contact information here and schedule your free consultation session. From the moment you hire us, we will stay with you each step of the way in the fight to achieve justice for you and your family.
Other online resources used for this article: