Earlier this year, WBTW-TV reported that nearly 1 in 5 of the people killed in traffic accidents so far this year were pedestrians, and the South Carolina Department of Public Safety said pedestrian deaths had increased 60 percent between 2013 and 2017.
The Greenville News reported that pedestrian fatalities in Greenville County decreased to 10 in 2018 after there were 21 pedestrian deaths in 2017 and 20 in 2016 – but the South Carolina Highway Patrol said there had been 159 pedestrian fatalities in 2017 compared to 100 in 2013.
These news stories make it clear that pedestrians in South Carolina face very real dangers while walking on sidewalks and roadsides, while crossing streets, and in parking lots. And the problem appears to be getting worse.
Why Are Pedestrian Accidents Increasing in South Carolina?
A Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) study found that pedestrian accidents have reached a 28 year high in the United States, according to a report on NPR. Some of the reasons for the increase in pedestrian accidents (particularly fatal accidents) were cited as:
- Increased popularity of SUVs – These vehicles are larger and heavier than cars and often cause severe or fatal injuries if they strike a pedestrian.
- Increase in distracted driving – Drivers now are more distracted than ever before, according to the study. People are increasingly distracted by their smartphones while driving, along with eating and drinking, daydreaming, and other dangerous distractions.
- Population growth – In South Carolina, as well as the rest of the country, a growing population simply means that more people will be on the street, whether as drivers or pedestrians.
Corporal Sonny Collins told WBTW that most crashes with pedestrians occur at night. WBTW recounted the story of a 28-year-old woman who was hit and killed on the side of Peachtree Road in Socastee when she was walking late at night in August 2018 and her body was not found for six days.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in South Carolina
Some of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents generally include:
- Distracted Driving
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of Alcohol or Drugs
- Driver Fatigue
- Reckless Driving
- Failure to Obey Traffic Signs or Lights
- Defective Parts
- Improper or Illegal Turns
- Failure to Maintain Vehicle
- Inclement Weather
- Medical Emergency
- Other Traffic Violations
Safety Tips for Pedestrians and Drivers
You can increase your chances of staying safe by trying to walk only during daylight hours. If you must walk at night, wear bright clothing or something that helps make you more visible to drivers.
It is also important for you to remain aware of what is going on around you. Avoid any activities such as text messaging or using a cell phone while you are walking. If you need to do something else, you should stop to take care of the matter before resuming walking.
As a driver, it’s crucial to be aware of your surroundings and obey the rules of the road at all times. Make sure to watch for pedestrians as you drive and remember that you must yield right-of-way to them.
How Jebaily Law Firm Can Help
If you suffered severe injuries or your loved one was killed in a pedestrian accident in South Carolina, you will only have a limited amount of time to seek justice.
Jebaily Law Firm has been helping clients for Over 50 Years. We have office locations in Florence and North Myrtle Beach. Call one of our pedestrian accident attorneys today or contact us online for a free consultation.