South Carolina, Mississippi Most Dangerous Southeast States for Motorcyclists

July 18, 2017

South Carolina is one of the Southeast’s most dangerous states for motorcyclists, but bikers put the blame on a range of problems from bad roads, inattentive motorists and inexperienced riders.

The Post and Courier reports the state’s 2015 fatality rate was its highest since 2007, and the 135 motorcyclists who died on South Carolina roads last year were the most this century.

Among nine Southeast states, South Carolina’s average annual fatality rate from 2011 to 2015 — 10 deaths per 10,000 registered motorcycles — was second only to Mississippi, which has the least number of registered motorcycles in the region, according to state statistics.

But motorcyclists disagree on requiring helmets, which motorcyclists are required to wear only if they’re 20 and younger. Nearly three-quarters of motorcyclists who died on South Carolina roads in the past decade were not wearing a helmet.

Nineteen states and the District of Columbia require all motorcyclists to wear helmets. Studies have shown fatality rates in those states to be 20 to 40 percent lower than other states.

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