As a motorcyclist in South Carolina, you know first-hand the potential dangers you face while riding through the streets surrounded by vehicles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 5,500 people died in motorcycle accidents in 2020 alone. An additional 180,000 people suffered serious injuries and were treated in emergency rooms throughout the United States.
Motorcyclists have the same rights as every other motorist on the road. However, they face increased danger as motorcycles do not have the same safety features as other vehicles, including the protection of a surrounding frame. Not only is it important to know the laws so you can protect your rights, but understanding the rules can help to keep you safe from other vehicles as well.
Despite the immense research showing the importance of wearing a helmet while operating a motorcycle, bikers over the age of 21 years old are not required to wear a helmet in South Carolina. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, helmets reduce head injury risks by 67% and save hundreds of lives every year.
Motorcycles are allowed full use of the lane, and cannot be forced out of a lane by another vehicle. Lane splitting occurs when motorcycles drive between two lanes of cars, and it is not allowed in South Carolina. Two motorcycles are allowed to drive alongside one another in a single lane.
Motorcycle injuries can lead to long-term health issues, including paralysis and traumatic brain injuries. It is critical to take proper safety measures while riding to minimize your risk of injury or death.