According to statistics from the state Department of Public Safety, 91 motorcyclists including those carrying a passenger have lost their lives on South Carolina roads this year, as of October 31: approximately 80 percent were not wearing helmets. Despite the risk, however, many South Carolinians are resistant to mandatory helmet laws, despite statistics indicating helmets do save lives. For example, North Carolina, with its “all-inclusive helmet law,” has a much lower fatality rate than its neighbor to the south, with only three deaths this year caused by motorcycle crashes as of September 2011.
If you have questions about helmet laws in South Carolina, our motorcycle accident lawyer can help.
Does South Carolina Have a Helmet Law?
In South Carolina, only riders under 21 are required to wear a helmet, and for that age group, it covers lower-powered bikes but not bicycles. Laws mandating helmets for motorcycle riders are currently in place in 20 states.
South Carolina Motorcycle Helmet Law Opposition
Opponents of a helmet law for adults argue that requiring helmets is too much of a government intrusion and that educating riders is a better way to keep riders safe than forcing them to wear a helmet. Still others point to a more practical than philosophical reason, claiming that it is difficult to hear while wearing a helmet.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration maintains that helmet use decreases motorcycle fatalities by almost 30 percent. In addition, helmet use increases when laws are passed requiring it, and – though it isn’t clear why – the number of motorcycle accidents decrease.
Those in support of the South Carolina motorcycle helmet laws always note that outside of safety issues, helmet laws may also cut back on motorcycle theft, as motorcycle thieves may not think to bring a helmet with them when they steal a bike. When helmets are mandatory, a rider without one will draw the attention of law enforcement.
Motorcycle crashes can result in serious injuries for the riders particularly brain injuries. Concussions and head bleeds are common, and chest injuries, broken necks, and other broken bones are among other injuries suffered by motorcycle riders. Unfortunately, all of these injuries can occur during a ride on a motorcycle even at relatively slow speeds and on neighborhood and rural roads.
South Carolina Motorcycle Laws
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in SC, the injuries can be severe. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney at Schiller & Hamilton to recover compensation for medical costs and lost wages.