A bicycle rider in South Carolina takes a big risk when he or she hits the road. According to figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2010, South Carolina’s bicycle accident fatality rate was 3.02 fatalities per million people. This number represents a significant increase from the prior year when the fatality rate was 3.02 per million people.
In 2010, there were 14 fatalities that were caused by crashes with motor vehicles. These results earned South Carolina the dubious distinction of being in the top ten for the states with the highest cyclist fatality rates. It placed fourth among states with the highest cyclist fatality rates. And the state’s fatality rate in 2010 ranked 50% higher than the U.S. rate of 2 deaths per million people.
South Carolina Bicycle Laws
To help reduce and prevent the number of accidents and fatalities in the state, South Carolina has enacted various laws imposing various duties on bicyclists and motorists using the road. Under the law, a rider is granted all of the rights and is subject to all of the duties imposed on a driver of a vehicle. Bicyclists are required to ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable. A bicyclist may, but is not required, to ride on the shoulder of the road. A bicyclist may ride in a lane other than a right-handed lane if only one lane is available that permits the bicyclist to continue on his intended route.
Every driver of a vehicle has the duty to exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian, including maintaining a safe operating distance between the motor vehicle and a bicycle. Furthermore, South Carolina specifically prohibits harassment of cyclists. It is “unlawful to harass, taunt, or maliciously throw an object at or in the direction of any person riding a bicycle.” Despite these laws, however, accidents involving bicyclists and vehicles still occur far too often.
Common Causes of Bicycle Crashes
As a result of urban areas having more vehicles and more congestion, a majority of bicyclist deaths naturally occur in urban areas. Additionally, most deaths occur at non-intersection locations. To help prevent these accidents from occurring, it is important to better understand what typically causes these accidents. Common causes of bicycle accidents include:
- Car driver making unsafe left or right turn;
- Bicyclists using the wrong side of the road;
- Car driver failing to yield to a bicyclist who has the right of way;
- Car driver following behind a bicyclist too closely;
- Car driver opening a car door while a cyclist passes;
- Car driver falling to provide a safe distance between the car lane and bicycle lane; and
- Bicyclist making unsafe turns or weaving in and out of traffic.
Injured in a Bicycle Accident? Contact an Experienced South Carolina Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, a South Carolina bicycle accident attorney can help protect your rights. At David R. Price, Jr. P.A., we can help you recover compensation for your bicycle accident injuries. David R. Price, Jr. is an experienced personal injury attorney who has the skills and knowledge to fight for your rights. In addition to bicycle accidents, David R. Price, Jr. has experience helping victims in a variety of other personal injury accidents, including car accidents, slip and falls, and dog bites.
Contact David R. Price, Jr. for a free initial consultation and case evaluation. You can call us at 864-271-2636.
David Price is a Personal Injury, Civil Litigation, Collections, and Criminal Defense Attorney who practices in Greenville, SC. He graduated from the University of Georgia School of Law, and has been practicing law for 12 years. David Price believes in helping those who have been injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.