As the temperatures warm, people start thinking about the things they like to do in the spring and summer. This also marks the beginning of riding season for thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts in South Carolina.
Events such as the Myrtle Beach Bike Week Spring Rally and other meets bring together bikers from both inside and outside South Carolina, filling the roadways with motorcycles.
Because motorcycles do not offer the protection of a car with bumpers, seat belts, air bags and doors, bikers are more likely to suffer severe injuries in the event of an accident. Here are seven tips to avoid accidents and stay safe on the road while enjoying your motorcycle this spring:
- Follow the rules of the road. Motorcyclists have to follow all the same laws and regulations as drivers, including using turn signals, avoiding tailgating and following the speed limit.
- Wear a helmet. Always ride with a certified helmet, even though the law doesn’t require it for most riders in South Carolina. A helmet is the best protection for your head in the case of an accident, and can significantly reduce the risk of a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
- Share the road. Stay alert and be sure to make yourself visible other drivers, especially at intersections. Be courteous to other motorists and avoid weaving in traffic or riding on the shoulder. This can be especially important for a group of motorcyclists riding together.
- Wear other protective gear. Eye protection, gloves and thick clothing can provide protection from the elements – and from the pavement in the case of an accident. Reflective material can also help other drivers see you when riding at night.
- Know your bike. Read the owner’s manual and make sure you are familiar with every aspect of the motorcycle. Make sure the motorcycle in good working order before hitting the road. It’s a good idea to take a quick walk around your motorcycle before riding.
- Get the proper license and training. Get a learner’s permit or motorcycle endorsement on your driver’s license. Riding a motorcycle is different from driving a car. It requires a different set of skills. It’s a good idea to take a training course to learn how to operate your motorcycle safely.
- Don’t ride with a passenger unless you’re ready. Riding a motorcycle with a passenger on board is different and takes more skill than riding alone. Make sure you have the skills and ability before giving someone else a lift on your bike.
Unfortunately, even if you do everything right as a motorcycle rider, an accident can still happen if other drivers are careless. If you have been injured while riding your motorcycle and the crash was someone else’s fault, you may be entitled to compensation. The best course of action is to speak with a qualified South Carolina motorcycle accident lawyer who can advise you about your rights and legal options.
- NHTSA – Motorcycles
- Consumer Reports – 10 motorcycle safety tips for new riders