You can’t go far on any Charleston street without seeing a bicyclist or two. It’s no wonder; the sights and sounds of Charleston and throughout the Palmetto State make bicycle riding an ideal hobby. It’s a convenient form of transportation for Charlestonians and it’s good for your health, too. Trails throughout the state offer cyclists panoramic views and idyllic locations for which to indulge their hobby, and if you don’t own a bike, there are plenty of places to rent one for an afternoon outing. Regardless of where you ride, your safety is nothing to take lightly. Injuries due to bicycle accidents can cause serious damage. By following obeying laws regarding cyclists, and following a few simple safety rules, you can make sure you have a safe and comfortable bike ride, whether it’s through the mountains of the upstate, along the coast of the Grand Strand, or simply commuting to work or school here in downtown Charleston.
South Carolina Bike Laws
Under South Carolina law, a bicyclist on the roadway must be afforded all of the rights and privileges as any other motorist. Under state law, bicycle riders have certain rights as well as responsibilities in keeping both themselves and other drivers safe. Under Code Section 56-5-3410 through 3500, bicycle laws in South Carolina include the following:
- Bicycle riders must use the appropriate bicycle lanes, when provided
- If there are no bicycle lanes, when possible bicyclists should ride nearest to the right side of the roadway
- More than 2 riders should not ride side by side at any one time, unless on specific paths or trails
- Bicyclists should use appropriate bicycle hand signals at all times to indicate stops and turns
- Bicyclists are not permitted to carry any package or item that prevents them from keeping both hands on the wheel
- When riding at night, bicycles need to be equipped with reflector lights and headlamps
- All bicycles should be equipped with working brakes
In addition to the laws regarding bicyclists, there are also laws relating to how motorists interact with bicycle riders. Motorists are required to maintain a safe distance from cyclists, and any driver caught taunting, harassing or throwing objects at a bicycle or rider is subject to a fine of $250 and up to 30 days in jail.
In order to ensure their safety and prevent injuries on South Carolina roadways, the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control recommends the following safety tips for bicyclists:
- Wear a helmet to protect yourself from head and brain injuries
- Wear brightly colored clothing to ensure you’re visible to other drivers
- When exiting a driveway or or at intersections, stop, look left, right, then left again before pulling out
- Before riding, be sure your tires are properly inflated, and that your brakes are in good working order
Of course, never operate a bike when under the influence of alcohol or drugs. By being alert, knowing the laws regarding cyclists, and taking protective measures, you can ensure your bike ride will be a safe one.
Contact an Experienced South Carolina Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been hurt or injured in a bicycle accident, contact Anastopoulo Law Firm right away. Our experienced South Carolina bike accident attorneys may be able to help you to get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Bike injuries cause serious, sometime permanent damages. With offices in Charleston and throughout South Carolina, we are prepared to provide exceptional legal representation.