Two riders who were sharing a motorcycle went to the hospital with injuries after they got hit from behind in Carolina Beach, North Carolina (NC). The rear-end collision happened at the intersection of South Lake Park Drive and Ocean Boulevard.



Local police and New Hanover County law enforcement personnel responded to reports of the crash just after 4:30 pm on April 2, 2018. Investigators determined that the motorcycle had stopped at the intersection because a the person driving the car in front it was waiting for oncoming traffic to clear so he or she could complete a left-hand turn.

The 18-year-old driver of the third vehicle did not slow down and has been charged with failure to stop to avoid a collision. That charge usually gets issued under section 20-141(m) of the North Carolina General Statutes, which states, “The fact that the speed of a vehicle is lower than the foregoing limits shall not relieve the operator of a vehicle from the duty to decrease speed as may be necessary to avoid colliding with any person, vehicle or other conveyance on or entering the highway, and to avoid injury to any person or property.”

News reports do include details on the nature of the injuries suffered by the adult and the child on the motorcycle. My Carolina personal injury law firm colleagues and I suspect they got injured severely. The posted speed limit on South Lake Park Boulevard is 35 mph. Even if the at-fault driver was not traveling that fast, individuals on motorcycles have practically no protection from a car going around that speed.

Additionally, the impact of the rear-end collision sandwiched the rider’s motorcycle between the at-fault driver’s car and the turning vehicle. Crush injuries are a distinct possibility.

Further supporting the likelihood of the motorcycle riders’ serious or critical conditions following the wreck in Carolina Beach, the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles annually records a nearly 1-to-1 ratio of injuries and deaths in crashes involving motorcycles. During 2016, the division logged 3,763 crashes involving motorcycles. A total of 154 of wrecks involving motorcycles resulted in deaths, and 3,015 sent people to hospitals with injuries.

Also relevant to this wreck in Carolina Beach, for crashes involving all types of vehicles, failure to reduce speed was cited as a contributing factor to 72,151 crashes in North Carolina during 2016. One hundred of those crashes proved deadly and 23,685 inflicted serious injuries.