A bicyclist died in Myrtle Beach after being hit from behind by a truck last week, the SC High Patrol reported.
The cyclist was struck just after sunset on Forestbrook Road. No one in the truck was injured.
The time of the accident is notable – just after sunset – drivers are more likely to not see bicyclists when it’s getting dark, and it’s a time of day when both drivers and bicyclists must be extra vigilant to avoid accidents.
What can we do to prevent tragedies like this?
South Carolina has laws designed to protect bicyclists, and there are obvious precautions cyclists can take, such as riding defensively and wearing brightly colored or reflective clothing.
What more can bicyclists and motorists do to avoid accidents?
Rules of the Road for Bicyclists in SC
South Carolina law requires that bicyclists:
- Ride in a bike lane if one is provided;
- When there is no bike lane, ride as close to the right side of the road as is reasonable. Cyclists can ride on the shoulder if they determine it is safest. Bicyclists can leave the right side or the bike lane only when it is closed or blocked;
- Do not ride more than two abreast on roadways, unless riding in a designated bike lane;
- Use care when passing other vehicles, whether they are parked, stopped, or moving;
- Always use proper hand signals when turning;
- Never ride with more passengers than the bicycle is designed to carry; and
- Only ride on permanent seats that are attached to the bike.
Even when a bicyclist follows all of the rules, they may not be able to avoid a careless driver in a car or truck. What responsibilities do drivers have when it comes to sharing the road with bicycles?
Rules of the Road for Drivers in SC
We all know that there are hundreds of rules that SC drivers must follow all of which are designed to prevent automobile accidents and maintain a safe flow of traffic.
SC’s traffic laws are also designed to protect bicyclists, and a violation of a traffic law by a motorist may be considered negligence “per se,” meaning liability doesn’t have to be proven if they violated the law and it cause the accident.
But, are there rules of the road for motorists that are specifically designed to protect bicyclists? There are a few:
- Don’t follow too close. Drivers are required to keep a safe distance between their vehicles and bicyclists;
- Do not shout or throw objects at bicyclists;
- When parked on the side of a roadway, use care when opening vehicle doors; and
- When passing a bicycle, keep at least three feet between the rider and your vehicle. This is the law in some areas, and it’s an appropriate safety measure no matter where you are.
Look Twice, Save a Life…
The slogan “look twice, save a life” applies to bicyclists just as it applies to motorcycle riders. The single largest cause of bicycle accident injuries and deaths is drivers who don’t see bicycles because they are not looking for them.
Even when drivers follow the rules of the road and SC traffic laws, their negligence can cause collisions with bicycles.
Often, drivers don’t see or even look for bicycles when making right turns, causing the cyclist to crash into the side of their vehicle. Left turns can also be dangerous when drivers – looking for cars but not bikes – fail to yield the right of way to bicyclists.
SC Bicycle Accident Attorneys in Myrtle Beach
If you or your family member has been struck, injured, or even killed by a careless driver who was not looking for bicycles on the road, your Myrtle Beach bicycle accident attorney at Coastal Law will help you to hold the driver accountable and recover full compensation from the driver or their insurance company.
Call us now at (843) 488-5000 or fill out our online form to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case.