Preventing Bicycle Related Injuries
Interventions that have proven effective to reduce injuries and fatalities to bicyclists include the following:
1. Bicycle helmets
Bicycle helmets reduce the risk of head and brain injuries in the event of a crash. All bicyclists, regardless of age, can help protect themselves by wearing properly fitted bicycle helmets every time they ride.
2. Active lighting and rider visibility
Fluorescent clothing can make bicyclists visible from further away than regular clothing during the daytime. Retro-reflective clothing can make bicyclists more visible at night. Active lighting can include front white lights, rear red lights, or other lighting on the bicycle or bicyclist. This lighting may improve the visibility of bicyclists.
3. Roadway engineering measures
Information about roadway engineering measures, like bike lanes, that can improve safety for bicyclists is available from The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center.
4. Driver education
Too often motor vehicle drivers are not familiar with the South Carolina traffic laws as they relate to bicycles. that direct them to share roads equally with bicyclists. Generally, South Carolina law treats bicycles like other vehicles on the road with a few exceptions. Bicycles have the right to ride on a road, even if there is an adjacent recreational bicycle lane, although they are required to ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practical. To comply with with last requirement, a bicyclist may ride on the shoulder of the roadway, but is not required to do so. However, where there is a dedicated bicycle lane on the roadway, bicyclists are required to ride in that lane. Moreover, the requirement to ride on the right side of the road or in a dedicated bike lane does not apply when a bicyclist is turning left.
According to South Carolina Code of Laws Section 56-5-3425, motor vehicles cannot block bicycle lanes and must yield to a bicyclist in the bicycle lane before entering or crossing the bicycle lane. South Carolina Code of Laws Section 56-5-3425 directs operators of motor vehicles to maintain a safe distance between their vehicle and a bicycle. Another provision of South Carolina law makes it a crime to harass or throw objects at a bicyclist. Violation of these laws resulting in injury to a bicyclist may be relevant to determining fault and recompense in an accident involving a bicyclist.