Myrtle Beach Bike Week and the Atlantic Beach Bikefest: Tips For Visiting Motorcyclists
Motorcycle occupants have more at stake than the average car occupant. Severe injury is much more common for the mostly unprotected bike rider than it is when one is surrounded by the steel and airbags of a vehicle. South Carolina currently ranks third in the country in the number of motorcycle fatalities per year for the number of registered drivers.
Motorcycle rallies draw in thousands of people that are unfamiliar with the area. Myrtle Beach Bike Week and the Atlantic Beach Bikefest traditionally bring in hundreds of thousands of people in the spring and 25,000 in the fall. The excitement and distractions increase the risk of an unexpected event. Here are a few tips to help drivers and riders stay safe so they can enjoy their visit.
Know the Laws
State motorcycle laws vary, so all visitors to South Carolina need to familiarize themselves with the local restrictions. South Carolina requires anyone on a motorcycle that is younger than 21 years of age to wear a reflective helmet. Operators under 21 must also wear eye protection if their bike lacks a windscreen.
All motorcycle operators need a valid motorcycle license and adequate insurance. South Carolina’s mandatory minimum coverage is $25,000/$50,000 for death or bodily injury and $25,000 for property damage.
All motorcycles must have a headlight, at least one mirror, and a muffler.
Avoid Unnecessary Problems
Tourists that plan to ride from their home state to the rally should make adequate stops to rest. Do not consume alcohol and get on a bike, even as a rider. Those that choose to drink should find alternate transportation for the day. Avoid the temptation to show off or race other rally attendees.
Pay attention to other drivers, especially those in vehicles who may not realize you are there. South Carolina does not require helmets for bike occupants over 21, but consider the use of one anyway. The safety gear may not prevent an accident, but it offers protection if one takes place.
Do not ride side-by-side or as a part of a large group with other motorcycles on busy highways or on narrow city lanes.
Some rally participants choose to rent rather than transport or ride their own motorcycle to the event. Choose a bike equal to your skills as a driver. Spend some time on quieter streets at first to become familiar with the machine before entering crowds.
Make Emergency Plans
Even the safest drivers can encounter problems. Have roadside coverage through an insurance plan or an auto club to avoid any delays if a breakdown takes place. Have all documentation for the motorcycle and yourself available if an accident occurs, including medical and auto insurance cards, driver's license, and current registration.
In case of an accident, have contact information available for a local attorney. Any accident could result in the need for a lawsuit because of the potential for injuries and extensive damage. Put contact information in a cellphone, but also keep a paper copy with your insurance and registration, in case of damage to the phone.
Attorneys must have a license to practice in the state where the accident occurs for them to represent the victim in that state. The delay to find a local attorney after you return home could make it harder to gather reliable evidence. All accident attorneys prefer for their clients to begin the process as soon as possible to avoid any loss of witnesses or details of the event.
Palmetto Injury Lawyers is a South Carolina-based firm that can help you in the event of an accident during bike week or at any other time of the year. We help personal injury victims get the compensation they need to get themselves and their families through this challenging time. Contact us to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.