Motorcycle deaths have increased in SC in 2021, and it could get worse. Here's why
More than twice as many people have died in traffic collisions involving motorcycles in South Carolina so far this year than at this point last year, and some are worried the worst is yet to come.
Earlier this month, in the span of two days in Greenville and Pickens counties, three motorcycle drivers were killed in three separate wrecks.
Another motorcyclist was killed Wednesday night in Anderson County.
That brought the number of those killed in motorcycle wrecks statewide to 21 so far in 2021, according to the state Department of Public Safety.
There were eight killed in motorcycle wrecks statewide at this time in 2020.
Now, with warmer weather combining with eased COVID-19 restrictions to invite more people to travel for pleasure, state Highway Patrol Trooper Joel Hovis is concerned that this year's trend will continue. Hovis said warm weather this month seems to have contributed to the increased collisions.
March through October is the peak time for motorcyclists on roadways in the Carolinas, officials say.
There are roughly 300,000 motorcycles registered in the Carolinas, according to the states' departments of motor vehicles, and those numbers don't account for travelers visiting from other states.
In South Carolina, motorcycle collisions had decreased by roughly 9% from 2019 to 2020. There were 107 fatal motorcycle collisions in 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic impacted travel for much of the year, after 118 in 2019.
Alex Stockton, a motorcyclist from Greenville, said his experience of more than 15 years has shown that distracted driving is often a factor.
He said there have been a number of times when he's almost been struck by car drivers, and he said he's noticed "90% of the time" in those cases that the other drivers were distracted on their phones.
"I'm always watching and aware — I know they (car drivers) are not looking for me," he said. "I always wear my full gear, too."
In South Carolina, only motorcycle riders under the age of 21 are required by law to wear helmets — though helmets reduce the risk of death by 37% and reduce the risk of head injury by 69%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The average motorcycle weighs around 700 pounds, and the average vehicle weighs 3,600 pounds, according to Hovis.
"Do the math — you're just not going to win that battle," Hovis said. "So give yourself a chance and put that helmet on when riding a motorcycle."
Car drivers can improve the roadways by being more aware — like the "Look twice, save a life" mantra for motorcycle safety preaches. Typically many car drivers are looking only for other cars, trucks and sports-utility vehicles, not for more vulnerable roadway users like motorcycles, Hovis said.
Motorcyclists can help, too, according to Stockton. He said speeding, lane-splitting by driving down the middle of side-by-side lanes and riding down medians are dangerous things he sometimes sees from fellow motorcycle drivers.
Vigilance and care from more people on the roads would save lives, officials say.
Tips for motorcycle safety
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, part of the federal government, and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, an international organization sponsored by motorcycle manufacturers, offer this advice for motorcyclists and car drivers:
- Obey traffic lights, signs, speed limits and lane markings.
- Wear the proper protection.
- Check tire pressure and tread depth, hand and foot brakes, headlights and signal indicators, and fluid levels before you ride.
- Take an extra moment to look for motorcycles, whether you're changing lanes or turning at intersections.
- Be aware that more than half of all fatal motorcycle crashes involve another vehicle. Most of the time, the car or truck driver, not the motorcyclist, is at fault.
- When checking traffic to turn at an intersection or driveway, expect that a motorcycle is closer than it looks.
- At intersections, expect that a motorcyclist may slow down without visual warning
- Allow more following distance behind a motorcycle because you can't always stop "on a dime."
- Make sure you are properly licensed.
Tamia Boyd is a Michigan native who covers breaking news in Greenville. Email her at [email protected], and follow her on Twitter @tamiamb. Please subscribe to The Greenville News by visiting greenvillenews.com/subscribe.
Deadly motorcycle crashes in South Carolina in 2021 outpacing previous years
MURRELLS INLET, S.C. (WBTW) — Deaths in motorcycle crashes in South Carolina this year are up 33% over the same time last year.
So far, 118 people have died in motorcycle crashes. In 2020, the total number of deaths was 123. The current total also outpaces 2019 through 9 months when that year finished with 141 total deaths from motorcycle crashes.
Master Trooper Brian Lee with the South Carolina Highway Patrol said the pandemic led to more people buying bikes, ultimately leading to an increase in the number of motorcyclists on the roads.
“I just think more people are out riding,” Lee said. “More people are trying to enjoy themselves. With the fall weather coming, the weather cools off, especially in the evening time. It’s nice weather where people get out and ride those motorcycles, and so I think that’s a reason why we’re having more fatalities concerning motorcycles than we did last year.”
Motorcyclists said they have to be vigilant on the roads to keep themselves safe.
“Always be aware of my surroundings and always be looking around and watching out for other drivers and people being unsafe and not watching for motorcycles,” said Larry Rucker, a motorcyclist celebrating Fall Bike Week.
Jeff Faith said riding a motorcycle is about expecting the unexpected.
“I drive defensively, but first of all there are no guarantees,” Faith said. “You have to be quite defensive and never assume that the other driver is doing something else or what you assume they’re going to do.”
Motorcyclists pointed to distracted drivers as their top cause for concern while out on the roads.
Faith said a safe motorcycle ride also depends on the rider.
“I’ve been riding a long time,” Faith said. “I’ve biked since I was 5. Know your equipment, keep up with your equipment: tires, brakes. Be safe.”
Lee said with thousands of motorcyclists in the area for the rest of the weekend that people should be more careful on the roads. He said one extra look can save a life.
“Anticipate that you’re going to have to maybe have a little bit more patient,” Lee said. “Try to give a little leeway and just focus and make sure that you look twice.”
Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.Sours: https://www.wbtw.com/news/grand-strand/deadly-motorcycle-crashes-in-south-carolina-in-2021-outpacing-previous-years/
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South Carolina Motorcycle Accident Statistics
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) has provided statistics about motorcycle crashes, including injuries and fatalities involving motorcycles in South Carolina. Here is some of the facts from recent years:
South Carolina Motorcycle Crashes
- There were 1,819 motorcycle crashes in 2010.
- Motorcycle fatalities accounted for 10% of total traffic related fatalities in 2010, but represented on about 1.7% of all motor vehicle related accidents.
- The number of motorcycle crashes increased by 5.8% and fatalities decreased by 10% from 1009 and 2010.
South Carolina Motorcycle Injuries, Fatalities, and Hospitalizations
- A total of 81 motorcycle riders were killed and 1,984 were injured in 2010.
- In 2010, motorcycle injuries resulted in 751 hospitalizations and 2,963 ER visits.
- In 2010, motorcycle injuries resulted in almost $74 million dollars medical bills from hospitalization and ER visits alone.
- In 2010, the average hospitalization charge from a motorcycle injury was $78,825 and the average ER visit cost $4,901.
- Most motorcycle injuries treated in the ER related to upper limb fractures, such as broken arms, broken shoulder, or broken fractured elbows.
- Among those hospitalized for motorcycle injuries that died in 2008, 74% suffered a traumatic brain injury
Columbia South Carolina Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident, it’s important to make sure that you understand you legal rights. South Carolina has laws that may provide compensation for injuries or death sustained from a motorcycle accident. Motorcycle accident cases can be complex and the deadline for filing a claim can be short. You should speak to the Goings Law Firm, LLC today if you think you may need a South Carolina motorcycle accident lawyer.
Man killed in motorcycle crash on I-85 SB at I-385 interchange in Greenville
GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – One person died in a motorcycle crash Friday afternoon on Interstate 85 in Greenville County.
The crash happened shortly after noon at the I-385 interchange (Exit 51).
According to South Carolina Highway Patrol, a motorcycle was merging on to I-85 southbound from I-385 southbound when it struck a minivan. The motorcyclist was thrown from the vehicle and hit by the minivan, troopers said.
Highway Patrol said the minivan also hit the side of an unknown tractor trailer in the crash.
The motorcyclist died in the crash while two people in the minivan were taken to the hospital with injuries.
The Greenville County Coroner’s Office identified the victim as Danny Simmons, 47, of Simpsonville.
This crash is under investigation by the Greenville County Coroners Office and the South Carolina Highway Patrol.
Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.Sours: https://www.wspa.com/news/deadly-motorcycle-crash-causes-delays-on-i-85-sb-near-i-385-interchange-in-greenville/
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Witness recalls deadly motorcycle crash on I-26
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A witness is speaking out about a deadly Friday morning motorcycle crash on I-26 near Downtown Charleston.
At around 7:40 a.m., a motorcyclist was thrown over the side ramp and landed on the ground at the 511 Meeting Street Apartments.
“You could hear a thud hit the ground and immediately I ran to the window next to my room and saw all these construction workers across the street running to help someone” said Tori Tappan, who saw the crash from her apartment.
“Every single person that has a balcony was out on it trying to see what was going on,” said Tappan.
Nearly thirty 911 calls came in.
“From the outside looking in, it moved a lot of people and it happened at a time where people were getting ready for work and getting out and about and so a lot of people saw this and I’m sorry that anyone had to see this,” said Lt. Paul Krasowski, with the Charleston Police Department’s traffic division.
South Carolina is among the top three states for motorcycle deaths.
According to the South Carolina Highway Patrol, 80 people have died in motorcycle accidents so far this year. That number reached 116 in 2020, 123 in 2019, and 141 in 2018.
Loose safety equipment laws may be partially to blame.
In South Carolina, helmets are only required for motorcyclists ages 20 years and younger. Nearly three-quarters of motorcycle drivers who have died on South Carolina roads in the past decade were not wearing a helmet.
Lt. Krasowski said that riders should always wear safety equipment and helmets, no matter their age, although he could not comment on whether the victim in Friday’s crash was wearing a helmet. He said that obeying traffic laws and speed limits is also important to keep everyone safe on the roads.
Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.Sours: https://www.counton2.com/news/witness-recalls-deadly-motorcycle-crash-on-i-26/
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