South Carolina’s temperate climate, diverse natural resources, and abundance of highways and byways make it an ideal place to ride a motorcycle. Whether you are in high gear and crossing the state on I-95, or taking a more leisurely ride along the coast on Highway 17, you will find numerous detours and places to stop and explore, along with plenty of fellow travelers who share your enthusiasm for riding on two wheels.
While there are few things as exhilarating as being on a bike and feeling the wind in your hair and the sun on your back, it is important to take the appropriate precautions to protect against accidents and injuries that can occur. One of the most important things you can do to protect your health and safety in the event of a motorcycle accident is to wear a helmet.
South Carolina Motorcycle Laws
With little to protect the rider in the event of a crash or collision, injuries sustained in motorcycle crashes and collisions tend to be more severe and potentially deadly than other types of motor vehicle accidents. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that, per mile traveled, traffic fatalities involving bikers are 27 times greater than those involving cars, killing more than 4,500 riders and their passengers each year.
Helmets go a long way towards ensuring riders’ safety. The Governor’s Highway Safety Administration reports that helmet laws were originally mandatory for all 50 states as a condition for getting road funding back in 1967, but federal authority was repealed in the late 1970s, giving authority back to the states. South Carolina dropped its helmet law in 1980, and despite a renewed attempt to reinstate it by the City of Myrtle Beach in 2009, only motorcyclists under the age of 20 are required to wear a helmet today.
Five Reasons to Wear a Helmet
Despite the fact that riders are not legally required to do so in South Carolina, there are still plenty of valid reasons while you should wear a motorcycle helmet anyway:
- Wearing a motorcycle helmet can save your life. In South Carolina, the Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) reports that motorcycle crashes account for roughly 10 percent of all accidents in the state, resulting in death for close to 100 riders, while causing serious injuries for nearly 2,000 others. Of those fatalities, 66 percent were not wearing a helmet.
- Wearing a motorcycle helmet can protect you against potentially severe head injuries. There are a variety of injuries that can occur as the result of motorcycle accidents, but by far the most common are those to the head and brain. According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), wearing an approved safety helmet when riding a motorcycle can reduce your risk of suffering a head injury as the result of an accident by nearly 67 percent. Even a seemingly minor bump or blow can result in a concussion or traumatic brain injury (TBI), resulting in debilitating and permanent impairments that impact the victim’s physical, emotional, and cognitive functions. In severe cases, a head or brain injury can lead to paralysis, coma, and even death.
- Wearing a helmet can protect you against injuries to the eye, teeth, and face. Helmets can protect you from debris that flies up from the road, such as rocks, dirt, and gravel, and can also protect you against tree branches, low hanging signs, and other objects you could come in contact with.
- Wearing a helmet can help aid your hearing and vision. Without the wind or sun in your eyes, you can focus better on traffic conditions, while your helmet can act as a buffer to filter out unnecessary noises that distract you from the task of driving.
- Wearing a helmet increases your own and other motorcyclist’s safety. Taking the steps to purchase and use a helmet can increase your own safety, while setting a good example for other riders.
Have You Been Involved in an Accident? Contact Our South Carolina Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Today
If you or someone you care about is involved in a motorcycle accident, contact our experienced South Carolina accident attorneys right away. At the Joye Law Firm, we provide the aggressive legal representation you need at a time you need it most, and can advise you on how to hold responsible drivers accountable so you can get the compensation you deserve. With offices in North Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Clinton, and Columbia, we can help you; call or contact us online today to see how we can be of assistance.