South Carolina one of the most dangerous states for motorcyclists

South Carolina has one of the highest motorcyclist fatalities in the country. This article looks at the reasons why.

With warm weather for much of the year, South Carolina can be a great state for motorcyclists. Unfortunately, despite such a long riding season, the state is also notoriously dangerous for bikers. As the Charleston Post-Courier reports, South Carolina has the second-highest rate of fatal motorcycle accidents in the Southeast. Furthermore, the rate of motorcycle deaths in the state is climbing due to, experts say, poor road conditions, increased traffic, and the lack of a mandatory helmet law.

Motorcyclist fatalities in South Carolina

In 2015, the most recent year for which reliable statistics are available, a total of 135 motorcyclists died in accidents in South Carolina. In total numbers, that is more fatalities than in any other year this century and it is the highest fatality rate since 2007. On average, 10 motorcyclists per 10,000 were killed in South Carolina between 2011 and 2015, a rate that is second only to Mississippi among the nine Southeast states.

South Carolina is not alone in seeing motorcycle fatalities rise. As Consumer Reports notes, while the percentage of overall deaths involving those in cars and trucks went from 70 percent to 64 percent nationwide over the past decade, for motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians, the percentage increased from 26 percent in 2015 to 32 percent just one year later.

Why are motorcyclists in greater danger?

One reason that motorcyclists make up a greater share of overall traffic fatalities is because there are more older riders getting back on their bikes. About half of all U.S. motorcyclist fatalities in 2015 involved a rider who was at least 40 or over, which is a 17-percent increase from 2005's figures. Older riders, especially if they haven't ridden since they were young, are more likely to underappreciate the extent to which their riding skills may have depreciated.

Other factors are also making conditions dangerous for motorcyclists, especially in South Carolina. Road conditions are deteriorating in the state, both due to lack of maintenance in some areas combined with an increase in overall traffic. Furthermore, South Carolina only makes helmets mandatory for young bikers and not for adult s. That is despite the fact that helmets have been shown to decrease the risk of death in an accident by up to 40 percent.

Personal injury law

Anybody who has been injured in an accident should get in touch with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Motorcyclists especially are more likely to suffer serious injuries in an accident than other types of drivers. Those injuries can lead to costly medical expenses, time taken off work, and other prohibitive costs. An experienced attorney can help crash victims pursue any compensation they may be entitled to, thus lessening the burden that those costs may otherwise present.