There’s nothing like the open road on a motorcycle on a bright, sunny day. Anyone who rides one waits impatiently for changes in weather that allow for that first exhilarating day out on a bike. But taking two-wheels on the open road can be a dangerous endeavor, as the statistics cruelly tell us:
We know that in a battle between a motorcycle and another vehicle, the motorcycle will lose every time. And even though just three percent of vehicles on the road are motorcycles, they comprise one in five of highway fatalities nationally. South Carolina’s numbers reveal a pretty ugly picture, as well.
- Motorcycles are involved in fewer than two percent of accidents, but in 10 percent of fatalities;
- The average age for individuals killed in motorcycle accidents is 41;
- The age range of motorcyclists who frequent emergency rooms most is 19-24;
- The average hospital bill following a motorcycle collision in 2010 was nearly $80,000;
- Roughly three out of four individuals who are hospitalized following a motorcycle accident and die have traumatic brain injuries; and
- The most common factor in motorcycle crashes is intoxication, and alcohol contributes to nearly 40 percent of motorcycle fatalities.
Statistics paint only part of the picture. Behind the numbers are real tragedies affecting real people:
- An intersection collision killed a Columbia man after the driver of an Avenger made an improper turn into the motorcyclist; and
- When a Harley Davidson rear-ended a Suzuki motorcycle in Williamsburg County, the passenger on the Harley was thrown off the bike and died on the scene.
Motorcycle Safety Tips
Despite the frightening statistics, there are plenty of things motorcyclists can do to prioritize their safety:
- Wear a helmet! A face shield or safety goggles wouldn’t hurt, either;
- Wear protective clothing like leather jackets, boots, and gloves;
- Increase visibility by keeping lights on, wearing reflective clothing, and staying out of blind spots;
- Stay sober;
- Take plenty of rest breaks on long rides;
- Keep your bike in good condition;
- Make sure your bike is the right size for you;
- Take courses to keep your skills up to date;
- Drive defensively, keeping an eye out for vehicles changing lanes, making turns, or weaving in and out of traffic;
- Keep at least 20 feet between yourself and fellow riders when riding in a group;
- Follow traffic laws.
Following a Motorcycle Tragedy
At Dan Pruitt Injury Law Firm, we hope you never have to deal with the aftermath of a serious motorcycle accident. But in the event you or a loved one is the victim of another driver’s carelessness or errant driving, you will definitely want a compassionate advocate who will go to the mats for you. Following this type of tragedy, you will likely be bombarded with medical costs and related expenses, while at the same time facing a loss of income. Our experienced legal team will fight for justice on your behalf. Contact us in Greenville for a free, confidential consultation today.
Dan Pruitt is a Personal Injury Attorney who practices in Greenville, SC. He graduated from University of Georgia, and has been practicing law for 25 years. Dan Pruitt believes in fighting for the injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.