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About Motorcycle Accidents


Motorcycle accidents are in some ways similar to other forms of auto accidents but are also different.  There are unique factors inherent in motorcycles and motorcycle riding.  Below is some information about motorcycle risks and accidents, as well as some advice as to what to do if you are in a motorcycle accident.

The Risks of Motorcycle Riding

Motorcycles are much smaller than cars and do not enclose their riders in a metal box.  Obviously, this is some of what makes motorcycle riding more dangerous than riding in other forms of automobiles.  Motorcycle accidents are statistically more likely than car accidents to result in death.  There are other risks inherent in motorcycle riding as well.  Motorcycles are less visible to other vehicles.  They are also more likely to be damaged or affected by road hazards like debris, uneven road surfaces, leaves, etc.  Vehicles on two wheels are less stable than vehicles on four wheels.  Further, riding a motorcycle requires more skill and involves more difficulty than riding in a car.

Minimizing Risks of Motorcycle Riding

The number one way to minimize the risks of motorcycle riding is to wear a helmet.  South Carolina, like many states, has a helmet requirement, however, it only applies to certain age groups.  Riders under the age of 21 must wear helmets.  Riders over the age of 21 are not required to wear a helmet.  Riders under the age of 21 must also wear appropriate eye protection unless the motorcycle is equipped with an approved windscreen.  Other ways to minimize motorcycling risks is to avoid drunk and distracted driving, to drive defensively, and to avoid high-risk behavior like speeding and overly quick acceleration.

Negligence Claims

There are four elements to a negligence claim.  The plaintiff must show that 1) the law required the defendant to be reasonably careful.  This is generally a given- motorists have what’s called a duty of care.  2) The plaintiff must show that the defendant was not careful.  3) The defendant’s conduct caused the plaintiff’s injuries.  And 4) the plaintiff was injured or suffered losses.

Frequent Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

The single most dangerous situation for motorcyclists occurs when cars are making left-hand turns.  These collisions account for a significant amount of motorcycle accidents.  Usually, the turning car strikes the motorcycle when the motorcycle is going straight through the intersection, is passing the car, or is trying to overtake the car.  Lane splitting is also a dangerous activity that can result in accidents.  Finally, about half of the accidents involving a single motorcycle are caused by speeding or alcohol use.

What Do I Do If I’m Involved in a Motorcycle Accident?

Aside from taking care of your health as a foremost priority, you will want to consult with an attorney regarding your motorcycle accident.  Many attorneys that take car accident claims will also accept motorcycle accident claims.  However, motorcycle cases involve unique issues that can affect how the case proceeds.  Don’t hesitate to contact the skilled Columbia motorcycle accident attorneys at The Stanley Law Group for help..  Call 803-799-4700 and set up a consultation today.


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