Lack of visibility and other drivers’ inattention is to blame for many South Carolina motorcycle accidents. About half of all collisions with motorcycles happen at intersections, according to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Other drivers making left turns in front of motorcycles pose a particular hazard, but wrecks also happen where a car or truck pulls into the path of an oncoming motorcycle from a side street, parking lot, or driveway.
Other factors that frequently contribute to South Carolina motorcycle accidents:
- the instability inherent in a two-wheeled vehicle
- other drivers’ blind spots
- tailgating or “cutting off”
- speeding or other reckless driving
- defective road conditions
- vehicle defects
- driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
When a motorcycle accident occurs, determining the cause of the crash becomes extremely important because it can determine whether someone else should be held legally liable for your injuries. If another driver is responsible for the accident, our South Carolina motorcycle accident attorneys can assist you in collecting full and fair compensation for your losses.
Common Causes of South Carolina Motorcycle Accidents
Each accident is different but there are common causes of motorcycle accidents in South Carolina.
Some common causes that are frequently involved in motorcycle accident cases are:
- Failure of drivers to see motorcycles turn at intersections. Because motorcycles are small, many motorists simply don’t see them — especially if the driver isn’t paying attention. Motorists may also be inclined to make quick turns at traffic intersections, failing to notice oncoming motorcycles.
- Motorists failing to yield to motorcyclists. This can occur at highway ramps, exits or entrances, and parking lots. Often, this failure to yield is also caused by the driver not taking the time to see the motorcyclist. When obstacles such as buildings, parked cars, or bushes are present, this can also contribute to the driver of a passenger vehicle failing to yield.
- Drivers engaging in distracted driving. If other drivers are texting, talking on a cell phone or eating and drinking, it is more likely that they will fail to see motorcycle riders around them.
- Driving while intoxicated. If the driver of the passenger vehicle is driving drunk, this can be a major contributing factor in a motorcycle accident.
- Motorists failing to correctly judge the speed of motorcycles. Many drivers of passenger vehicles are simply not able to assess how quickly a motorcycle is moving.
- Motorists following too closely behind motorcyclists. Motorcycles typically have shorter stopping distances due to their lightweight, so they are particularly susceptible to being rear-ended by inattentive drivers or tailgaters.
- Motorists hitting motorcycle riders in their blind spot. In many cases, a motorist will fail to perform a “head check” while switching lanes and crash into a motorcycle rider who was in their blind spot.
- Potholes or debris on the road. These are major causes of single-vehicle motorcycle accidents. Due to their design, motorcycles face a greater hazard from steep shoulder drop-offs, potholes, cracked or grooved pavement, gaps between different road surfaces, puddles, and road debris. In some cases, the government agency or individuals responsible for maintaining the road may be held liable if road defects cause or contribute to the accident.
- Defects with the motorcycle. If the motorcycle itself malfunctions or has a design defect, this can contribute to causing an accident. In these instances, the manufacturer of the motorcycle could potentially be held liable in a products liability lawsuit
As these common causes show, often someone besides the motorcycle rider causes or contributes to the accident and should be held responsible. Our South Carolina motorcycle accident lawyers can help you to determine which of these or other factors caused your accident and can assist you in assessing whether someone else should be held legally responsible.
South Carolina Motorcycle Accident and Passenger Vehicles
NHTSA has compiled statistics in order to help determine some of the common causes of motorcycle accidents. According to its most recent published reports:
- 47 percent of fatal motorcycle accidents involved a motorcycle colliding with another vehicle.
- 77 percent of motorcycles involved in two-vehicle crashes were hit in the front of the bike and 2 percent in the rear.
- 41 percent of motorcycle accidents involved the other vehicle turning left and the motorcycle either going straight or passing the vehicle.
- 28 percent of fatal motorcycle accidents with two vehicles involved both vehicles going straight.
These statistics indicate that motorcycle accidents tend to be most dangerous when a motorcycle and a passenger vehicle collide.
Contact Our South Carolina Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Today
Whatever the cause, our South Carolina motorcycle accident lawyers at Joye Law Firm can help you through the confusion and strain that follow a serious motorcycle accident. Respect and compassion are what you will get from our lawyers and staff from your first call until your case is resolved. Since 1968 we have helped injured people like you recover not just the money and benefits they deserve, but also their lives.