Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in South Carolina

June 21, 2023 – Paul Hammack

South Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers | Hammack Law Firm | Call 864-326-3333

Motorcycle accidents are unfortunately commonplace, so it’s important for motorcycle owners to understand the common factors that contribute to these accidents. While most things that cause motorcycle accidents tend to be similar to those involved in automobile accidents, the effects are often far more catastrophic when a motorcycle is involved.

Motorcycle accidents in South Carolina can have serious and even fatal consequences. To promote safer riding and prevent these incidents, awareness of the common causes of such accidents is crucial. The following factors are significant contributors to motorcycle accidents in our state:

Negligent Drivers

Motorcycle accidents often occur because other drivers on the road are not paying enough attention. This can include failing to check blind spots, being distracted by cellphones or texting, driving too fast, or not following traffic laws. Unfortunately, these behaviors can result in collisions with motorcycles, which are more vulnerable due to their smaller size and reduced visibility.

Lane Changes and Merging

Motorcycle accidents frequently occur when a motorist fails to check their mirrors or properly signal when changing lanes or merging onto a roadway. Motorcycles can be easily overlooked in a driver’s blind spot, leading to side-swipe accidents or forcing riders to take evasive maneuvers to avoid a collision.

Left-Turn Collisions

A significant contributing factor to motorcycle accidents is when a motor vehicle makes a left turn, obstructing the path of an approaching motorcycle. This occurrence is often due to a miscalculation of the motorcycle’s velocity or failure to observe its presence, which can result in a perilous collision at the intersection. To prevent such incidents, it is crucial for motorcyclists to remain vigilant and anticipate the likelihood of encountering such scenarios.

Failure to Yield

Intersections and high merge lanes can prove high-risk for motorcyclists, as oftentimes larger vehicles fail to notice or check their blind spots for motorcycle drivers or forget to yield to other motorists. The failure to observe or respect the right of way can result in major collisions and place motorcyclists in a disproportionately high degree of danger.

Impaired Driving

Driving while intoxicated is a particularly worrisome issue for any driver, but especially for motorcyclists. Impaired drivers exhibit slower reaction times, poor judgment, and less control over their vehicles, consequently increasing the likelihood of accidents involving motorcycles. To prevent such incidents, both motorcyclists and other drivers must refrain from driving under the influence of these substances.

Road Hazards

Poor road conditions and hazards can also be especially dangerous for motorcyclists. Uneven pavement, potholes, debris, gravel, or oil spills can cause a motorcyclist to lose control and crash. It’s critical for riders to stay vigilant, watch the road ahead, and adjust their driving accordingly to avoid potential hazards.


To reduce the likelihood of motorcycle accidents, it is crucial for all individuals to exercise caution and abide by traffic regulations. Motorcycle riders, in particular, should prioritize their safety by wearing appropriate protective gear, such as helmets and brightly colored or reflective clothing, to increase their visibility on the road. These precautionary measures can help prevent serious injuries and even fatalities, making the roads safer for all.

If you or a loved one have been involved in a motorcycle accident, it is advisable to seek legal counsel promptly. A qualified motorcycle accident attorney can provide guidance, protect your rights, and help you pursue compensation for your injuries and damages.

When it comes to riding a motorcycle, safety should be at the top of your priority list. By educating yourself on the common causes of motorcycle accidents and implementing safe riding practices, you can begin to maintain road safety standards for everyone sharing the roadways of South Carolina, including yourself.

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