Basic South Carolina Traffic Laws Every Driver Needs to Know

Compassionate and Knowledgeable Counsel to Assist Injured Myrtle Beach Drivers

Driving in South Carolina is a privilege – one that the state gets to dispense upon those it deems appropriate. This is why potential drivers must demonstrate proficiency in driving through written and practical tests before they will be licensed to drive. This process, however, does not guarantee that a licensed driver will be a master of South Carolina driving laws. When drivers do not follow traffic laws (whether willfully or through ignorance), serious – even deadly – car crashes can result.

Clinton Driving Laws You May Not Know About

A driver who is familiar with South Carolina’s many driving-related laws – and who follows them – is a safer driver than one who does not follow the “rules of the road” because he or she is ignorant of the law. Did you know:

  • Being “waved” onto a roadway or lane of travel does not give you the right of way. Suppose a friendly and helpful motorist gives you a hand signal indicating he or she is letting you merge or turn when you might not otherwise have the right of way to accomplish the maneuver. If you collide with another motorist, you would still likely be at fault for not yielding the right of way.
  • You must wear your seatbelt in South Carolina. South Carolina’s seatbelt law is mandatory, and for good reason: Seatbelts save lives. Myrtle Beach and Charleston drivers can drastically reduce the likelihood that they and their passengers will suffer serious injuries in a Columbia car wreck (and avoid traffic ticket fines and fees) by wearing their seatbelts and requiring their passengers to do the same.
  • No one may drink inside a moving vehicle. It is a misconception to believe that only the driver must avoid drinking alcohol while driving. The prohibition actually extends to both drivers and passengers. This prevents passengers from becoming intoxicated and disruptive and reduces the chance that an intoxicated passenger will contribute to a crash.
  • Headlights are to be on if your windshield wipers are on. Even if your wipers are on to clear a light mist, your headlights must be on. This is to help make your vehicle more visible to others in such low visibility conditions, thereby reducing the chance of an auto accident.
  • You must turn on your turn signal (or make an appropriate hand signal) before you reach your turn. Some drivers use turn signals only when they have reached the location where they intend to turn (and others do not use them at all). However, South Carolina traffic laws actually require drivers to make a signal 100 feet before they intend to turn. This gives other motorists traveling in the same or the opposing direction of travel time to react.
  • Bicyclists have rights, too. While it is not as likely to see bicyclists on the road during winter months, it is worth emphasizing that on South Carolina roads, bicyclists have as much of a right to use the roadway as motor vehicles. Bicyclists must follow the same rules of the road as other traffic on the road, too.
  • Some distracted driving is not illegal, but it is not a good idea. For example, there is nothing in the South Carolina traffic laws prohibiting a driver from operating a vehicle while listening to music through headphones. Just because you may do it does not mean you should, however. Listening to music using headphones is a distraction and can increase the chances that you will cause a collision with another vehicle. Therefore, even though the practice is legal, it is not advisable. Other forms of distracted driving – like texting while driving and/or watching a movie, television show, or other program on a tablet or other device while the vehicle is in motion – are illegal and can result in fines and fees in addition to civil liability for any injuries that may result from a collision.
  • You must stop and yield before leaving a parking lot and entering the roadway. Even though many establishments do not have stop signs posted where the business’s parking lot meets the roadway, motorists are still required to stop before entering the roadway and yield the right of way to any traffic that is on the roadway before turning onto the road themselves.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car crash in Myrtle Beach, Clinton, Columbia, Charleston, or elsewhere in South Carolina, contact the Joye Law Firm by phone or through our website right away. We can help you and your loved one(s) recover compensation for your injuries from an unsafe or reckless driver whose failure to follow the state’s traffic laws and thereby caused the crash.