The South Carolina Highway Patrol recently reported that through the first two weeks of September 2015, 97 motorcycle riders had lost their lives on state roads and highways this year. That already dwarfs the number of motorcyclist fatalities for all of 2014, which was already a shockingly high 84. At least one more deadly accident on Sept. 12, 2015, added to the rising toll.
The most recent loss of life occurred outside of the town of Conway in Horry County. A car's driver reportedly backed out of a private driveway onto Highway 701 near Browns Chapel Road and into a group of three motorcyclists. Two of the bikers survived the collision with serious injuries. The third, a professional firefighter who had lived in North Carolina and was likely returning from a weekend visit to Myrtle Beach, died at the scene of the wreck.
No charges were immediately filed, but it seems possible that that driver of the car failed to exercise proper care and caution when entering the highway. Any person leaving a driveway or parking lot must yield right of way to oncoming traffic. Stopping, looking both ways several times and only proceeding when adequate time and space exist are essential. This is especially true when backing up, since extra time is needed to shift gears and proceed from a stop after getting into the flow of traffic.
Being small, motrocycles are often difficult to see. Drivers need to make extra efforts to watch for those two-wheelers, as well as for bicycles and pedestrians. As the large and growing number of biker deaths in South Carolina shows, too few drivers are doing all they can to ensure the health and safety of motorcyclists.