Thousands of motorcyclists will roar into the area next week because May is bike rally month in Myrtle Beach.
It’s also Motorcycle Safety Month, so I want to share some tips on how to prevent fun in the sun from turning into tragedy.
This year’s Myrtle Beach Bike Week Spring Rally will happen May 11-20. The Atlantic Beach Bikefest 2018, also known as Black Bike Week, will be May 25-28.
Safety Tips for Motorcyclists
When motorcycles crash, riders do not have the protection of an enclosed space, and they are more likely to die or be seriously injured than people in other vehicles. Other drivers certainly have a duty of care, but that doesn’t mean they will always act responsibly, so you should take steps to protect yourself:
- Stay sober: When you drink alcohol or consume other drugs, your reaction time, judgment, and balance all take a hit. You need to be as alert as possible when you are perched on top of a steel missile, so don’t get impaired if you plan to ride.
- Wear a helmet: You are not required to wear a helmet in South Carolina if you are 21 or older. But, you should wear one anyway. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, helmets are about 37 percent effective at preventing death in motorcycle crashes. Make sure your helmet has the U.S. Department of Transportation symbol on it.
- Wear appropriate gear: You need to be both protected and comfortable when riding, and that gets more difficult as the weather warms up. The good news: There is a growing number of options designed to keep you safe and cool at the same time, from gloves to helmets to footwear. Make sure your gear is visible. I have a friend who refuses to wear fully reflective clothing (“I will not get on my bike looking like a safety patrol officer”), but he did find lightweight riding clothes with subtle but impossible-to-miss reflective seams.
- Stay alert, ride defensively: When motorcycles get into accidents with other vehicles, it’s almost always because the other driver failed to yield the right of way. Far too often, drivers don’t see – or even look out for – motorcycles, so you need to be extra careful when riding. Don’t follow too closely, use your turn signals, and be vigilant when approaching intersections.
Safety Tips for Drivers During Bike Week
- Respect motorcycle riders: Motorcycles are legal vehicles, and riders have the same rights as drivers. Show them the same respect and courtesy you show anyone else on the road. More – neither ego nor being in a rush is more important than a motorcyclist’s life.
- Don’t follow too closely: Make sure there is plenty of distance between your vehicle and any motorcycles. Don’t tailgate, and don’t crowd them when they are in a lane beside you. Be especially careful to not follow too close when approaching intersections or making turns.
- Don’t get distracted: You should always avoid distractions when driving, but during the bike rallies, take special care to focus on the road and the vehicles around you. Texting, surfing the Web, or posting to social media while driving is illegal in South Carolina, and it puts you and other drivers and riders in danger – one mistake and a matter of inches could cost a motorcyclist their life…
Motorcycle Accident Lawyers in Myrtle Beach, SC
The Myrtle Beach motorcycle accident lawyers at Coastal Law want to see everyone stay safe during this month’s bike rallies, but, when the worst happens, we are here to help you hold reckless drivers accountable.
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle crash caused by a careless driver in Myrtle Beach, call now for a free consultation to discuss your case, by calling (843) 488-5000 or filling out our online form.