Wearing Motorcycle Helmets In Myrtle Beach – What You Need To Know
Operating a motorcycle has shown to be significantly more hazardous compared to driving a typical passenger vehicle. Hence, it is crucial for motorcyclists to take all necessary precautions to ready themselves and avoid severe injuries in the event of a crash. Wearing motorcycle helmets is the most crucial safety step any motorcyclist can take.
Wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle is a no-brainer, as it offers crucial protection in case of accidents, especially when riding a motorcycle in rain, or other adverse weather conditions. However, it’s essential to understand that not all helmets are created equal, and some perform better in preventing head injuries and fatalities. Moreover, there are specific motorcycle helmet laws in South Carolina that must be followed for both safety and legal reasons. Selecting the right helmet can be the difference between walking away unscathed and facing lifelong consequences or even death. That’s why we have gathered all the necessary information to help you make an informed decision and choose the safest helmet available.
Included in this article:
Why You Should Wear A Helmet On A Motorcycle
In 2021, South Carolina experienced a record high when it comes to motorcycle accident fatalities. In fact, in 2021 there were 154 motorcycle fatalities, which is the highest amount of motorcycle-related deaths since 1980. Even though motorcycles only make up for 3% of the registered vehicles on the road today, 14% of traffic fatalities are attributed to motorcycle accidents in the United States. However, when wearing a motorcycle helmet, the chances of sustaining a serious head injury are reduced by up to 69%, and the risk of death is subsequently reduced by 42%. These staggering statistics drive home the importance of wearing motorcycle helmets, no matter what.
What Are The South Carolina Motorcycle Helmet Laws?
In South Carolina, there are regulations regarding the operation and usage of motorcycles, including restrictions on where and how they can be ridden. Consequently, there are also laws mandating wearing motorcycle helmets.
In South Carolina, motorcycle operators under the age of 21 must wear motorcycle helmets when operating the vehicle. This is unless the motorcyclist is wearing goggles or a face shield that has been approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT). The Department of Transportation has strict guidelines and testing strategies that must be adhered to in order to be approved for use while riding a motorcycle.
Additionally, in the state of South Carolina, it is unlawful for retailers and manufacturers to sell and distribute motorcycle helmets that are not approved by the Department of Public Safety.
Wearing A Motorcycle Helmet – How To Find The Right One
Just because a helmet has been certified by the Department of Transportation does not necessarily mean it is the right helmet for every single motorcyclist out there. It’s important to find and wear and properly fitting motorcycle helmet to ensure that the head, neck, face, and eyes are properly protected when riding. Here are some tips for finding and wearing motorcycle helmets that fit correctly.
Find The Right Size
In contrast to bike helmets, motorcycle helmets are not labeled as small, medium, or large. To find the perfect motorcycle helmet, one must determine their head size. This can be done by measuring the head circumference and comparing it to the sizing charts provided by manufacturers.
It is crucial to make sure that the helmet fits properly. A properly fitting helmet should have some movement but should grip the scalp and face to prevent excessive movement. Trying on the helmet before purchasing it can help a motorcyclist determine if it fits correctly. New helmets will fit more snugly compared to used helmets, which tend to loosen with usage. Keep in mind that the helmet should fit snugly without causing any pressure or discomfort.
Find The Safest Type Of Helmet
There are countless options available when it comes to choosing which motorcycle helmet to wear. However, not all helmets provide equal safety and protection against head injuries or death. The three main helmet categories are ¾, ½, and full-face helmets.
The full-face helmet is considered the safest among the three, as it offers maximum protection by covering the whole face and neck. It also features a chin bar, which is a crucial component in avoiding severe injuries in the event of a crash.
When selecting a helmet, it’s important to ensure that it’s made of either thermoplastic or reinforced composite polycarbonate. These materials have been proven to be the most effective in preventing head injuries or fatalities. Additionally, a helmet with an impact-absorbing liner and a chin strap or chin bar should be chosen for added security.
Follow Safety Standards For Wearing Motorcycle Helmets
The Federal Department of Transportation has established strict regulations for motorcycle helmets, and all approved helmets must carry the DOT sticker indicating that they have passed certification and meet the required standards. In addition to the DOT regulations, the Snell Memorial Foundation has provided additional safety guidelines, although these are not mandatory. Some helmet manufacturers choose to go above and beyond the minimum standards by meeting both the DOT and Snell guidelines. It’s important to ensure that helmets are safety certified, as they will be the safest. There are various motorcycle helmet product liability claims in South Carolina due to helmets not being fully safety certified and inspected.
To ensure maximum safety, these helmets undergo various tests, including:
- Positional Stability Test
- Impact Testing
- Chin Bar Test
- Dynamic Retention Test
- Face Shield Penetration Test
- Shell Penetration Test.
The Snell standards are particularly stringent, and helmets that pass these tests are considered to be among the safest on the market. To ensure maximum protection while riding a motorcycle, it is crucial to choose a helmet that has been both DOT and Snell tested and certified.
Be Able To Identify Unsafe Helmets
In the United States, all motorcycle helmets must comply with federal regulations and standards, and display a DOT certification sticker. Unfortunately, some companies produce and sell novelty helmets that have fake DOT labels, misleading riders into purchasing helmets that are not safe. While this is illegal, the practice still occurs, therefore it is essential for motorcyclists to be able to identify unsafe helmets.
These novelty helmets do not offer the necessary protection in the event of a crash as they do not meet federal standards. It is imperative that riders avoid purchasing and wearing such helmets. To identify a novelty helmet or one that does not meet federal standards, keep an eye out for the following signs:
- Cheap Buckles Or Straps – Unsafe helmets often have plastic buckles instead of sturdy chin straps with solid rivets, which can easily break during a crash.
- Less Than 1in Thick – If a helmet is less than one inch thick and does not have a stiff foam inner liner, it may not meet federal standards.
- Weight – Federally approved helmets typically weigh around 3 pounds, while unsafe helmets may weigh as little as one pound.
- False Advertisement – Avoid helmets advertised as the smallest or lightest available.
- Hazardous Accessories – DOT standards prohibit anything extending further than two-tenths of an inch from the helmet surface, and the use of spikes or decorations on a helmet indicates it is not DOT certified (with the exception of visor fasteners).
-Be cautious of helmets with German Army-style designs or skullcap styles, as these may not meet DOT standards. A non-compliant helmet will appear noticeably smaller and thinner compared to a DOT-certified helmet. However, some German Army-style helmets may meet federal safety standards.
Can You Ride A Motorcycle In The Rain?
Riding a motorcycle in the rain can be a daunting task for many riders, but it is possible if the proper precautions are taken. There are no South Carolina laws prohibiting motorcyclists from riding a motorcycle in the rain or any other adverse weather conditions. However, it is important to note that riding in the rain can be dangerous and even the most experienced riders should exercise caution. When riding a motorcycle in the rain, it’s important to exercise caution and consider possible hazards.
Is It Safe To Ride A Motorcycle In The Rain?
Generally speaking, it is not safe to ride a motorcycle in the rain. While it is possible for someone to ride a motorcycle in the rain, the decrease in safety and increase in the risk of an accident deem the action unsafe. Rainy weather poses a significant hazard for all road users, especially motorcyclists. Due to their limited points of contact with the road, motorcycles are more prone to losing traction quickly compared to cars. To stay safe while riding in wet conditions, it’s crucial to follow dry lines on the road to keep the motorcycle upright. Additionally, it’s important to make small throttle adjustments and brake early to account for the increased risk of slipping.
Things To Consider When Driving A Motorcycle In The Rain
There are several things to keep in mind and be aware of when riding a motorcycle in rain. Keeping the following in mind when riding in the rain will help motorcyclists make good choices and hopefully help them avoid motorcycle accidents. These can include:
- Maneuvering On Wet Roads – The first thing to consider when riding a motorcycle in the rain is the roads. Wet roads can be slick and slippery, making it harder to maneuver the motorcycle. It is important to reduce speed and increase the distance between other vehicles. Additionally, be aware of the possibility of hydroplaning, which occurs when the tires of the motorcycle lose contact with the road due to standing water.
- Reduced Visibility – In addition to the road conditions, visibility is also reduced in the rain, making it harder to see other vehicles, road signs, and potential hazards. To improve visibility, make sure the windshield of the motorcycle is clean and the headlights are turned on. Wear waterproof gear and make sure the helmet has a visor to keep the rain out of the rider’s eyes.
- Keeping Warm – Another factor to consider when riding in the rain is the rider’s own physical state. It is important to keep the body warm and dry to avoid hypothermia and to maintain a grip on the motorcycle. Hands and feet can get particularly cold and numb, so make sure to wear proper protective gear and warm gloves.
In conclusion, riding a motorcycle in the rain is possible, but it requires caution and preparation. Wet roads, reduced visibility, and the rider’s physical state are all factors to consider before taking on the challenge. It is always better to err on the side of caution and wait for the rain to pass if possible.
Ways To Stay Safe When Riding A Motorcycle In The Rain
Riding a motorcycle in the rain can be a challenging experience, but it is possible with the right precautions. To stay safe while riding in wet conditions, follow these tips.
- Reducing Speeds – Slowing down when it’s raining is a critical safety measure for motorcyclists. Wet roads can reduce the traction of the tires and make it harder to maneuver the motorcycle. Additionally, rain can reduce visibility and make it harder to see other vehicles, road signs, and potential hazards. By slowing down, motorcyclists have more time to react to changing road conditions and reduce the risk of slipping or losing control. Additionally, slowing down allows for longer stopping distances, which is especially important in wet weather when brakes may not be as effective. Furthermore, riding at a slower speed reduces the impact of any potential accidents and reduces the severity of injuries in the event of a crash. In conclusion, slowing down in the rain is a necessary safety measure for motorcyclists to reduce the risk of accidents and stay safe on the road.
- Improve Visibility – Improving visibility when riding a motorcycle in the rain is crucial for ensuring safe riding conditions. Rain can reduce visibility, making it harder for riders to see other vehicles, road signs, and potential hazards on the road. The decreased visibility can also make it more difficult for drivers of other vehicles to see the motorcycle, increasing the risk of accidents. By improving visibility through the use of clean windshields, headlights, and waterproof gear, riders can increase their ability to see and be seen on the road. Wearing a helmet with a visor can also help keep the rain out of the rider’s eyes, allowing them to see more clearly and react to any potential hazards. Overall, improving visibility when riding a motorcycle in the rain is a critical step in ensuring a safe and enjoyable riding experience.
- Ride On Dry Lines – Following dry lines when riding a motorcycle in the rain is necessary for several reasons. Firstly, wet roads can be slippery and reduce traction, making it harder to control the motorcycle. By following the dry lines, the rider can reduce the amount of water that is splashed up, improving visibility and reducing the risk of accidents. Lastly, following dry lines can help the rider avoid standing water, which can cause hydroplaning. Hydroplaning occurs when the tires lose contact with the road, making it difficult to control the motorcycle. By following dry lines, the rider can reduce the risk of hydroplaning and maintain control of the motorcycle. Overall, following dry lines when riding in the rain is a crucial step in staying safe and avoiding accidents.
- Wear The Proper Gear – Wearing the proper gear when it’s raining is essential when riding a motorcycle. Not only does it protect a motorcyclist from the elements, but it also helps to keep them safe in the event of an accident. Waterproof gear can keep them dry and prevent hypothermia, which can impair their ability to control the motorcycle. A helmet with a visor can help keep the rain out of their eyes and improve visibility, while warm gloves can keep their hands and fingers from becoming numb. Additionally, wearing bright colors or reflective materials can make a motorcyclist more visible to other road users, especially in low-light conditions. By wearing the proper gear, a motorcyclist can stay safe and comfortable while riding in the rain.
Contact A Motorcycle Accident Attorney At The Lovely Law Firm
At The Lovely Law Firm, P.C., we understand the devastating impact motorcycle accidents can have on your life. If you or a loved one have been involved in a motorcycle accident, it is important to take action now to protect your rights and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys will work tirelessly to ensure you receive the justice you deserve. Don’t wait any longer, contact us or call us at 843-281-7205 today to schedule a free consultation and take the first step toward a brighter future.
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