South Carolina Moped Accident Deaths Higher Than Last Year
According to a report from the South Carolina State Highway Patrol, while the number of accident deaths on motorcycles or while not wearing a seatbelt is down, the number of moped accident deaths has increased.
In the first six months of 2013, 7 people died in moped accidents, according to the SC Highway Patrol. In 2014, the first 6 months saw 18 moped accident deaths.
South Carolina lawmakers introduced moped safety bills in 2014 in response to concern about the number of moped accidents last year. However, none of the proposed bills passed.
BJ Jones, part owner of BJ’s Scooters in Myrtle Beach, believes that current restrictions on mopeds are to blame for the increase in moped accidents and deaths. In South Carolina, mopeds are not allowed to drive faster than 25 miles per hour, allegedly for safety reasons. Despite the purported safety concern, being unable to keep up with traffic creates more problems than it solves.
“No matter if you’re on a 30, 35, or even 45 mile an hour road, you can only go 25 miles an hour so you know people that are texting and other stuff they come along and slam into the scooter because that scooter is legally not allowed to stay with the flow of traffic,” said Jones.
Although moped accidents are far too common in SC, the small bikes have become a primary means of transportation for many who cannot afford cars or cannot afford high gas prices.
“It’s easier for me to go back and forth to work I mean gas wise it’s cheaper on gas. I’m only 10 minutes from work, 15 at the most so it’s just easier to get back and forth,” said Ronald Powell.
Many moped dealerships offer safety tips, such as driving in the slow lane on roads, wearing helmets, and wearing reflective vests or other items of clothing so that drivers can more easily see riders and help prevent moped accidents. Even so, moped safety and moped accidents are a huge concern for South Carolina.
The number of accident deaths on the roads is up in general across the state, as well. According to the state highway patrol, 357 people have died in accidents on SC roads between January and June, but that is only up by one accident death from the same time period in 2013.
The State Highway Patrol also reports that 42 pedestrians were killed in the first half of 2014, which is the same number as that time period last year. Fewer motorcyclists have been killed in accidents this year – 35 in the first six months, compared to 54 in the same period in 2013.
The July 4th holiday weekend proved to be particularly deadly this year.
“July Fourth has proven to be one of the deadliest days of the year for traffic deaths,” said David E. Parsons, president and CEO of AAA Carolinas. “The holiday spirit and corresponding celebrations seem to outweigh caution, courtesy and common sense by drivers this time of year.”
Lt. Kelley Hughes, a spokesman for the South Carolina Highway Patrol, said “We lost a lot of ground in June … And we’ve still got the rest of the summer to go.”
The Strom Law Firm Accident Attorneys Can Help with Moped Safety and Accident Lawsuits
The Strom Law Firm’s South Carolina bicycle, moped, and motorcycle accident attorneys will carefully analyze all aspects of the sequence of events, road conditions, and mechanical factors which led to the collision. If you have suffered a serious personal injury, or the wrongful death of a loved one due to another person’s negligence, call The Strom Law Firm, LLC at 803.252.4800 or contact us in Columbia, South Carolina, for a free consultation.