Motorcyclists understand the combination of relaxation and exhilaration that comes with cruising South Carolina country roads. But, did you know that motorcyclists are 28 times more likely to be killed in an accident than other motor vehicles?
Riders must take extra precautions to protect themselves from accidents and injury. Educating yourself now makes the difference between a relaxing tour and a trip to the hospital, or worse.
Dress Appropriately and Always Wear a Helmet
The rider slang term “ATGATT” means you should be wearing all the gear, all the time. A helmet and protective clothing will mitigate the severity of your injuries should you crash.
In South Carolina, you are not legally required to wear a helmet if you are over the age of 21. Despite this, you should always wear a helmet that meets the U.S Department of Transportation Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. Look for the DOT symbol on the back.
Cover your arms and legs completely with leather or heavy denim and boots that protect your ankles. Gloves allow for better gripping. Brightly colored clothing helps to make you more visible.
Know How to Defend Yourself on the Road
Experienced riders know to avoid risky behavior on the road. Be aware of local traffic laws and obey lights, signs, speed limits, and lane markings. Approach intersections with caution. Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The most common type of motorcycle accident occurs when a vehicle turns left in front of a bike. Also, be aware of cars suddenly changing lanes or following you too closely.
South Carolina law requires motorcycles to use headlights at all times and that all bikes be equipped with rearview mirrors. Remember that motorcycles are entitled to full use of the lane, but must follow the same rules of the lane that pertain to other motor vehicles.
Know Your Route and Plan Ahead
Motorcycles are safer on surfaces that provide good traction. Your chance of getting into an accident increases if you are riding on slippery or uneven surfaces. Ride cautiously and avoid these potentially dangerous surfaces:
- Wet, snowy, or muddy pavement
- Gravel or sand
- Railroad tracks
- Grooves or grating
- Lane markings and manhole covers, particularly when wet
Riding in the rain or snow is especially dangerous. Not only are the roads slick, but moisture can fog up visors or goggles impairing your vision. Make it a habit to check the weather forecast before you travel and avoid riding through rain or snow storms.
Know Your Bike and Keep it Maintained
You should always follow scheduled maintenance and know as much about your bike as possible. Failing to properly maintain your bike can cost you your life. Before you hit the road, always check the following:
- Tires for low pressure or dangerous wear
- Clutch and throttle
All states require a motorcycle license in addition to an automobile’s license, but many states, including South Carolina, do not require riders to take a motorcycle safety course. The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles partners with many technical colleges and private entities to offer motorcycle safety training for riders of all levels and experience.
Our Motorcycle Accident Attorney Has Your Back
It takes time to become a safe and proficient rider. You should always ride cautiously and fully alert. If you are injured in a collision, Auger & Auger’s motorcycle accident attorney in South Carolina will help you understand your rights to compensation after an accident or serious injury. Call our office today at 800-559-5741 for a FREE consultation of your case.