Five Main Causes of South Carolina Motorcycle Accidents

Riding a motorcycle can be a thrilling and relaxing experience. Unfortunately, it can also be a scary experience. For motorcyclists, the chances of sustaining serious and disabling injuries in an accident are higher when compared with other types of auto accidents. Every year, thousands of South Carolina motorcycle accidents occur, causing injuries ranging from mild to catastrophic. Many motorcycle accidents are preventable and are caused by one or more people's negligence. Five of the most common causes of South Carolina motorcycle accidents are detailed below.

1. Left-Hand Turns

When a motorcyclist or driver is making a left-hand turn, there is always the potential for a dangerous accident to occur. Left-hand turns are one of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents. These types of accidents can happen when a motorcyclist drives straight through an intersection and is hit by a driver who is turning left. The driver may not have seen the motorcyclist and failed to yield appropriately. In other cases, the driver may be speeding, intoxicated, or distracted and collide with a motorcyclist. In other cases, a motorist passing another vehicle will hit a motorcyclist who is driving through the intersection or turning left.

2. Lane-Splitting

Lane splitting happens when a motorcyclist rides between two lanes of slow-moving or stopped traffic. Lane-splitting is dangerous and can increase the likelihood of an accident. Passenger vehicle drivers frequently forget to look for motorcyclists whose motorcycles are smaller than other cars and are harder to spot. Lane splitting is dangerous due to:

  • Reduced space of the motorcyclist to maneuver and avoid an accident
  • Lack of visibility when other drivers do not anticipate and look for the nearby motorcyclist
  • The close proximity between the motorcycle and other vehicles
3. Head-On Collisions

Head-on collisions are among the most dangerous types of auto accidents for any person on the road. They are even more difficult for motorcyclists. These accidents usually happen when a motorist is distracted or does not yield to a motorcyclist with the right of way. Head-on collisions are often fatal, especially for the motorcyclist, who does not have external protection. Upon impact, the motorcyclist may be thrown from the motorcycle. Head-on collisions can result in life-altering injuries, including paralysis from spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries.

4. Speeding

Speeding is another common cause of motorcycle accidents in South Carolina. Even when motorcyclists are following the speed limit, they may still drive too quickly around corners or other curves in the road. Likewise, when motorcyclists or other passenger vehicle drivers do not take into account bad weather situations, their high speed could increase the likelihood of an accident. For example, in a winter storm, a driver may be driving at or below the speed limit. However, their speed could still be dangerous under the circumstances.

Every driver has a legal responsibility to use reasonable care under the circumstances. In a storm, it may be reasonable to decrease the speed of a vehicle by 15 or even 20 miles per hour, especially if there is poor visibility. Driving too quickly when it is hard to see makes it even more difficult for passenger vehicle drivers to spot motorcyclists and avoid a collision. Motorists who are speeding may collide with a motorcyclist, and the results are often tragic because of the limited protection motorcyclists have.

5. Distracted Driving

As with every other type of motorcycle accident, distracted driving is one of the most common causes. Drivers are distracted by vehicles with lots of technological gadgets inside, cell phones, tablets, children, passengers, pets, and more. Any time a driver is not completely focused on driving, there is the potential for an accident to occur.

Driving while exhausted or impaired by drugs or alcohol can also increase the likelihood that an accident will happen. Drivers need all of their attention on the road, especially when sharing the road with motorcyclists, which can be more difficult to see. Even when a driver takes their eyes off the road for five seconds to check a text message, it can be enough time for an accident to happen.

Discuss Your Case With a South Carolina Motorcycle Accident Attorney

You may be entitled to compensation if you or a loved one has been injured in a South Carolina motorcycle accident, and another person's negligence caused the accident. Motorcycle accident victims have a right to bring a lawsuit against the person or company whose negligence caused their injuries.

The attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC can help you pursue compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and more. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation and discuss your legal options and rights.

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