Unfortunately, accidents between motorcycles and other vehicles occur rather frequently. According to the South Carolina Highway Patrol (SCHP), two-thirds of these collisions involve the vehicle violating the motorcycle’s right-of-way. In 2015, there were more than 2,000 motorcycle-related crashes and 141 deaths.
Be a More Defensive Driver (Vehicle)
The SCHP suggests that drivers should use the “look twice” rule, looking over your shoulder and in your mirrors, and then look once more to ensure that you don’t miss a motorcycle in your blind spot. Additional safety tips include:
- Pay close attention at intersections for motorcycles who may be parked in less-than-visible spots like behind protruding shrubs or buildings;
- Watch when backing out from a residential driveway, as it may be difficult to see an approaching motorcycle;
- When you see a motorcycle trying to pass, don’t accelerate;
- When passing a motorcycle, don’t jump into the original lane too quickly, as it could cause the motorcycle to swerve and hit another vehicle or run off the highway; and
- Don’t follow too closely; the Highway Patrol notes this is one of the leading causes of motorcycle-related collisions.
Also, be mindful when motorcycle events and get-togethers are happening. Events like Myrtle Beach Bike Week draw a lot of motorcycles and additional traffic. This is when you need to be extra vigilant and practice defensive driving techniques.
Motorcycle Safety Tips
If you’re the one riding a motorcycle, you can also engage in defensive driving techniques to help reduce the chances of getting into an accident. Some tips from the Highway Patrol include:
- Watch for vehicles turning left in intersections, as 25 percent of crashes are a result of cars turning left into the motorcycle’s path;
- Watch for vehicles backing out of driveways who may be blinded by parked cars and other obstacles;
- Avoid crowding vehicles when passing, and ensure that you’re in the left portion of the lane before starting to overtake a vehicle;
- Watch closely for various road hazards like oil patches, debris, puddles, potholes, or anything else that could cause you to lose control of the motorcycle;
- Always wear a helmet; and
- Scan ahead and watch for vehicles who may make a sudden move due to stopped traffic, a hazard, or an accident up ahead.
Be Cautious with Motorcycle Insurance
Be cautious when purchasing motorcycle insurance, as some companies who pitch “motorcycle coverage” don’t include some of the most important coverages for riders. According to an NBC News 4 report, companies are stripping out important coverage to keep the premiums more in line with that of an automobile. This is at the sacrifice of valuable coverage like UIM, or underinsured motorist coverage, which kicks in when the at-fault vehicle driver doesn’t have enough coverage to pay for your injuries. If you have any concerns, contact a reputable insurance agent or a South Carolina personal injury attorney who is familiar with unscrupulous insurance tactics.
What to Do if You’re in a Motorcycle Accident
In the event you’re in an accident on your motorcycle that was someone else’s fault, contact the Elrod Pope Law Firm. Let our skilled team of South Carolina motorcycle accident attorneys handle your injury claim and ensure that the negligent party is held responsible for your physical damages and bodily injuries.
Thomas E. Pope is a Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, and Medical Malpractice Attorney who practices in Rock Hill, Lake Wylie, and Lancaster, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 31 years now. Thomas E. Pope believes in protecting the injured. Learn more about his experience here.