Posted in Car Accidents on March 15, 2024

Bicycle Safety and Helmet Laws in South Carolina Explained image

Bicycling is a fun and cost-effective way to commute, run errands, and stay healthy. However, because their small size makes them more difficult to spot, inattentive motorists are a constant threat to the safety of bicyclists. For this reason, South Carolina has laws in place to protect cyclists and their right to safely use the roads. Here is what you need to know about South Carolina bicycle laws.

What Safety Laws Apply to Bicyclists in South Carolina?

South Carolina law treats bicycles as vehicles. This status affords bicyclists with both rights and responsibilities. When riding a bicycle in South Carolina, you must obey the following laws to keep yourself and other road users safe:

  • Ride in the same direction as all other vehicles and obey all traffic signs.
  • Ride as far to the right side of the lane as is safe and practicable.
  • If a bike lane is available for use, you must remain within the bike lane unless you must pass another cyclist, make a left turn, or avoid a road hazard.
  • You may ride no more than two abreast in a single lane.
  • Use a white front bicycle light that is visible from 500 feet and a red rear reflector that is visible from a minimum of 50 feet if riding after dark. 

Is There a South Carolina Bicycle Helmet Law?

Many states require all cyclists or those below a certain age to wear bicycle helmets. But does South Carolina have a helmet law? There are no helmet laws for bicyclists in the Palmetto State. However, wearing a helmet can help prevent severe head injuries. According to studies, areas where bicycle helmets are mandatory have seen a 20 to 55 percent reduction in head injuries.

Many people wonder how not wearing a helmet affects your bicycle accident case. What is the impact of helmet use on injury claims? South Carolina operates on a comparative negligence system, meaning that an injured individual’s compensation can be reduced if they are deemed partly to blame for their injuries. If not wearing a helmet has led to more significant injuries than you might otherwise have sustained, the other side may argue that you deserve a smaller compensation package. However, a skilled lawyer can maximize your claim by focusing on the actions of the negligent motorist who caused the accident.

Are There Laws for Motorists Sharing the Road with Bicyclists?

While bicyclists must remain aware of their surroundings and do what is necessary to keep themselves and others safe, all motorists have a duty to prevent bicyclists from coming to harm. According to South Carolina law, motorists who share the road with cyclists must:

  • Operate their vehicles with due care to avoid crashes with bicyclists or pedestrians
  • Drive at a safe distance from bicyclists
  • Refrain from throwing objects at cyclists or otherwise harassing them

Motorists who fail to observe these laws can be held accountable for losses resulting from accidents they cause.

What to Do if You’re Involved in a Bicycle Accident

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If you are involved in a bicycle accident in South Carolina, it’s essential to take the proper steps to protect your health and legal rights. First, seek medical attention immediately, even if you believe your injuries are minor. Some injuries may not be apparent right away. Next, report the accident to the police and obtain a copy of the accident report. If possible, gather evidence at the scene, such as photos of the damage and contact information for any witnesses. Finally, contact an experienced bicycle accident attorney who can help you seek the compensation you deserve.

Injured in a Bicycle Accident in South Carolina? Contact Evans Moore, LLC Today

The physical pain and emotional trauma of a bicycle accident can sometimes feel impossible to overcome. When your injuries also result in a mountain of medical bills and a lengthy period of missed work, the financial consequences of the crash can be just as overwhelming. Working with an experienced team of bicycle accident lawyers in Georgetown can allow you to file a compensation claim for all your accident-related losses.

The skilled and knowledgeable attorneys at Evans Moore, LLC have been fighting for the rights of injured individuals in South Carolina since 2010. In that time, we have secured over $100 million in settlements and verdicts on behalf of our clients. Let us put our successful track record to work for you, too. Call us today at (843) 995-5000 or contact us online for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you.