South Carolina Highway Patrol troopers were stationed at the Myrtle Beach Harley Davidson dealership Friday to educate motorcyclists on safety, ahead of the last weekend of Myrtle Beach Bike Week.
And with the deadly crash Friday evening involving a motorcycle and two other vehicles on Highway 501 near Highway 544, troopers and riders at the event Friday afternoon honed in on the most important parts of bike safety.
SCHP was investigating seven motorcycle collisions as of Friday morning, and after the deadly collision, safety is their number one priority.
“They need to make the right decisions when they get on that bike,” said SCHP Sargeant Bill Rhyne. “They need to make sure that they’re wearing their proper equipment. When you ride around down here, you don’t see a lot of people wearing helmets, but they need to understand, that helmet, and that equipment is what’s going to keep them safe.”
One person riding this week says it’s all about keeping your eyes open on the road.
“I’ve been riding since I was 6 years old, and the biggest thing is watch everybody else, and that’s what I’m saying, defense,” said David Tollison, a motorcyclist from Union, South Carolina. “Defensive driving, that’s the way, that’s the ticket. You see somebody coming in fixing to turn in out in front of you, or even though they don’t. Still, act like they’re going to.”
Sgt. Rhyne calls bikers vulnerable road users, meaning they don’t have four walls around them to protect them, and that drinking while driving a motorcycle is a top safety risk.
Tollison says he will continue to be observant as he rides alongside thousands of other cyclists and motorists on the Grand Strand.
“This is one of the busiest bike weeks, probably is the busiest bike week of all,” he said. “Even with Sturgis and Daytona. I think they estimated about a half a million bikes.”
In previous years, Sgt. Rhyne says they’ve had as many as 250,000 bikers at the Harley Davidson dealership during bike week.
SCHP continues to investigate the deadly crash from Friday evening. The motorcycle rider died, and there were no other serious injuries.