The month of May could be called Myrtle Beach "Bike Month," with both the Spring Harley Rally and the Atlantic Beach Bike Week happening back to back while motorcyclists visit the Grand Strand during, before, and after the events.
How many motorcycle crashes were there during Myrtle Beach Bike Week 2019? How does it compare to Bike Week 2018?
Why are there so many motorcycle crashes during Myrtle Beach Bike Week - is it just careless motorcyclists, or is it because other motorists are not paying attention?
Why are There so Many Motorcycle Crashes During Myrtle Beach Bike Week?
There are plenty of motorcycle crashes during Myrtle Beach Bike Week - during, before, and after the Spring Rally and Memorial Day's Black Bike Week, now called the Black Pearl Cultural Heritage and Bike Festival.
In 2018, there was one reported death and a total of 26 motorcycle crashes during Myrtle Beach Bike Week. Some crashes make the news, and some don't. Some result in deaths, while the lucky ones escape with minor injuries or property damage.
During the week of the Spring Rally alone, this year there were 12 motorcycle crashes investigated by the highway patrol. Five deaths had been reported as of May 19.
Some crashes are caused by irresponsible motorcyclists who may be driving drunk or ignoring traffic signals, like the accident a witness describes in the article linked to above:
[A motorcyclist] witnessed the aftermath of one of those wrecks after she said a motorcyclist attempted to run through a red light.
"People were doing it constantly, that's just not smart," said [the witness].
[The witness] was out riding with her fiancé and friends Wednesday night just before midnight when a Jeep hit the biker attempting to clear the intersection.
"I personally have never come across to scene like that, it was very somber and very sad as we prayed over him," said [the witness].
[She] said the biker was still alive but is unaware of his current condition.
In many other cases, however, motorcyclists are doing everything that they can to stay safe - giving cars plenty of space, constantly using their side mirrors and looking over their shoulder, slowing down at intersections and constantly staying alert for automobile drivers who are not paying attention:
"People don't care about you, they just don't care," said [one motorcyclist].
[He] has been riding bikes for over 35 years and tries to control his surroundings while riding through heavy traffic.
"I just stay out of the way, slow down at intersections, be more alert of what they're going to do," [he said].
... [another motorcyclist] always gives bikers as much space as he would a car.
"Oh baby I give them the road, if they're acting stupid that's one thing but if they're just riding they can have it," [he said].
Compared to an SUV the bikes are barely half of [their] size.
[Motorcyclists] try to utilize [their] side and rearview mirrors before [they] switch lanes or even just backing up.
The total number of motorcycle crashes during Myrtle Beach Bike Week 2019 is not clear yet, although there will certainly be more than the 12 crashes and five deaths reported as of May 19. What motorcycle crashes during Myrtle Beach Bike Week do we know about so far this year?
Motorcycle Crashes During Bike Week 2019
On May 17, a motorcyclist was killed on Highway 501 in Conway near Coastal Carolina University:
The wreck happened around 5:09 p.m. on Highway 501 at the intersection with Savannah Bluff Road, according to the South Carolina Highway Patrol. There were three vehicles involved, including a motorcycle.
The motorcycle was going southbound on 501 when it attempted to go left and collided with a Honda Accord, the SCHP reports. After being struck by the Accord, the motorcycle hit a FexEx semi that was heading northbound, according to the highway patrol.
The motorcyclist died as a result of the collision, while the driver of the Accord suffered minor injuries, SCHP reports.
On May 22, Kings Highway in Myrtle Beach was temporarily closed down after a three-motorcycle crash:
"It was just like smoke and stuff everywhere," [a witness] said.
[The witness] said he and others nearby ran up to provide aid. One driver was badly hurt and had blood running down his face, [he] said. Another had road rash with a passenger who also was badly injured, he said.
Dozens of police and fire vehicles responded to the scene and blocked off part of Kings Highway near 24th Avenue North. A small crowd gathered to watch police tend to the scene.
On May 28, a woman was seriously injured in a motorcycle crash near 15th Avenue North in North Myrtle Beach and later died at a local hospital.
Four deaths had already been reported in the two weeks before Bike Week began:
Two of the deadly motorcycle crashes occurred just a few hours apart. [A crash victim], 61, of Fayetteville, N.C., died shortly before 2 a.m. Friday after the motorcycle he was riding was hit in front of Duplin Winery in North Myrtle Beach by a vehicle that fled the scene.
Around 10:30 p.m. Thursday, [an Athens, Ga., man] was killed in a motorcycle crash on the Highway 90 exit ramp from Highway 22.
On May 17, [a 54-year-old woman from] Chesapeake, Va., died after the motorcycle she was riding was struck by a tractor-trailer on U.S. 501.
Another deadly motorcycle crash happened May 15 on U.S. 501 and claimed the life of [a 41-year-old West Virginia man].
This is not a complete list of the motorcycle crashes, injuries, and deaths during this year's Myrtle Beach Bike Weeks - there were many crashes that did not result in deaths and many that have not been reported by the media.
If you were injured due to someone else's carelessness in a motorcycle crash during Myrtle Beach Bike Week 2019, get an experienced motorcycle crash attorney on your case immediately. Your SC motorcycle accident lawyer at Axelrod and Associates will help you to hold the at-fault driver accountable and collect full compensation from their insurance company.