South Carolina Fatal Motorcycle Accident Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), South Carolina reported 977 traffic deaths for 2015. The rate per 100,000 population is almost double the national average of 10.92. South Carolina’s rate is 19.95, which is up from previous years. Motorcycle deaths make up 19 percent of the total with 184 for 2015. This number is a significant increase from prior years, such as 121 in 2014 and 149 in 2013. In fact, it is the highest total in a ten-year reporting period.
South Carolina has a helmet law that requires anyone age 20 and younger to wear a helmet, but it does not provide any requirements for those over this age. As a result, only 30 percent of those involved in fatal motorcycle crashes were wearing a helmet at the time. It is estimated that 33 lives were saved with helmet use in 2015, but another 48 could have been saved if there had been 100 percent usage.
The highest fatality numbers are for those in the age bracket 20-29 with 47 deaths in 2015. Second are those in between ages 50 and 59 with 40 reported. The numbers drop significantly for those over age 59 with 22 deaths as well as those age 20 and younger with four reported.
Most counties in South Carolina reported at least one motorcycle death in 2015 with several counties reporting more than five. One county had more than 15 while another county reported more than 26 for the year. Horry County topped the list with 32 for the year, which is double the number in 2014. Greenville County came in second with 19, which is more than triple the 6 for 2014. Surrounding counties to Greenville also reported higher numbers with Anderson and Laurens at six and Spartanburg at eight for the year. Cherokee County reported seven deaths for the year.