The number of deaths from motorcycle accidents on South Carolina roads has been increasing, according to reports of the SC Department of Public Safety. Between 2007 and 2011, the fatality count was up 11.45%. Following are some of the commonly asked questions about motorcycle accidents in the Palmetto State.

What states have the highest motorcycle fatality rates?

According to data from the Governors Highway Safety Association for the year 2012, these are the ten states in which motorcyclists were most at risk of death: Florida, Texas, California, Pennsylvania, New York, North Carolina, Illinois, Georgia, Arizona, and Ohio. South Carolina narrowly missed being in the Top Ten on the GHSA list.

How many motorcycle accidents are typically recorded in SC in a one-year period?

NHTSA figures for 2011 reflect 129 deaths and 1,865 injuries from South Carolina motorcycle accidents in that year.

What counties in South Carolina see the most motorcycle accidents?

Greenville and Horry counties lead in both deaths and collisions. Richland County was in the Top Five counties for collisions but not fatalities. Other counties with a relatively large number of motorcycle injuries or deaths are Spartanburg, Anderson, Charleston and Lexington.

What are the demographic features of those killed in SC motorcycle wrecks?

The highest percentage of fatal accident victims are between the ages of 25 and 54 (just over 65%), and 91.7% are male.

Are certain times more dangerous for motorcycle riders?

As you might expect, more than half (56.7%) of fatal motorcycle crashes happen on the weekend. The months of May, April and August are when accidents peak, and the hours of 3 p.m. to midnight are the most dangerous.

Are motorcycle helmets mandatory in South Carolina?

Only for riders age 20 and younger.

But doesn’t helmet use prevent deaths?

Yes, indeed. The U.S. General Accounting Office concluded that “laws requiring all motorcyclists to wear helmets are the only strategy proven to be effective in reducing fatalities.” Helmets are 37% effective in preventing fatal injuries to motorcycle operators and 41% effective for passengers.

What are the most common causes of motorcycle crashes?

The factors which most often contribute to motorcycle accidents are:

  • driving too fast for conditions
  • failure to yield right of way
  • drug or alcohol use
  • being distracted or inattentive
  • improper lane usage or change
  • following another vehicle too closely
  • aggressive driving.
  • Aren’t people in cars and trucks just as likely to be injured in a crash?

    No. NHTSA found that, based on the average number of miles traveled in 2011 by every type of vehicle on the road, motorcycle riders are 30 times more likely to die in a crash than people involved in car accidents. And a motorcycle rider is five times more likely to be injured while riding a motorcycle than someone traveling in a conventional passenger vehicle. This is due to the fact that motorcyclists do not have the protection of a steel frame, airbags, or size relative to other vehicles on the road.

    What types of injuries are most common in motorcycle wrecks?

    Injuries of the lower extremities (foot, ankle, leg, knee, thigh, hip and pelvis) are the most common injuries sustained in motorcycle crashes, particularly bone fractures, followed by upper-extremity and head injuries. Although they may happen less often, injuries to the head, chest and abdomen tend to be more severe. Traumatic brain injury is the leading cause of death in motorcycle crashes.

    I’ve heard of “road rash.” What is that?

    Road rash is the term used to describe a skin abrasion caused by contact with the surface of the road in an accident. It can range from mild to severe.

    Can the Louthian Law Firm help me if I have been in a motorcycle accident?

    The Columbia motorcycle accident lawyers at the Louthian Law Firm have been helping accident victims for a combined total of more than 85 years. Whether you or your loved one was harmed in a car or truck crash, a workplace incident, a negligent hospital or on a motorcycle ride, we can help you obtain just compensation for your injuries. When necessary and advisable, we do not hesitate to take a case to trial; at other times, our clients decide to accept a reasonable settlement from the responsible party. One such situation was when the Louthian Law Firm obtained a $125,000 settlement in a motorcycle accident case. Call us at (803) 454-1200. We never charge for the initial consultation.