Even though Americans are walking less, U.S. pedestrian deaths have risen by 45% since 2010. Cities are encouraging residents to walk and bike, but have not updated city streets (designed largely for motor vehicles) to accommodate pedestrians. Roads have been “engineered for fast-moving and unhindered vehicular traffic, with few pedestrian crossings…” (FastCompany.com)
Where there are pedestrian zones and/or bike lanes, they only extend for short distances, and most drivers have yet to realize that urban streets are to be shared with pedestrians.
“Adding to the dangers are distracted drivers and pedestrians and the introduction of electric scooters. Some observers also believe an epidemic of narcissism is causing more aggressive driving.”
South Carolina was recently ranked number 10 in the U.S. for dangerous places for pedestrians. Last year South Carolina was ranked number 7. While this shows some improvement, being ranked in the top 10 “underscores the profound lack of pedestrian infrastructure in South Carolina.” (PostandCourier.com)
According to South Carolina Highway Patrol (SCHP), there were 145 pedestrian deaths in 2016 and 1,589 in 2017, in South Carolina. So far this year, one out of every five traffic fatalities in SC has been a pedestrian. That number is higher than last year, per SCHP.
Horry County Statistics:
In Horry County, between January 2018 and January 2019, 107 pedestrian accidents occurred, with 17of those being fatal.
Cpl. Sonny Collins with SCHP says drivers and pedestrians can work together to minimize these accidents in the future. He says pedestrians should wear bright-colored clothes or reflective gear, to make them stand out. “…anything that a motorist can see you and identify where you are.” (WMBFNews.com)
Collins also says most pedestrian accidents happen at night. If you’re driving 55 mph, by the time you see something in front of you, there’s no way to stop in time. Drivers should slow down at night, and keep a close eye out for pedestrians.
Trooper Joe Hovis, SCHP spokesman, suggests pedestrians face traffic when there is no sidewalk, and NOT to walk at all if you’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol. (The Greenville News)
Charleston Area Statistics:
According to a 2018 study by the Palmetto Cycling Coalition, the Charleston area “…accounted for more than 20 percent of bicycle and pedestrian crashes between 2009 and 2017.”
The city of Charleston’s transportation director, Keith Benjamin says SCDOT has designed roads in such a way to move vehicles from one place to another as quickly as possible, with no accommodation for pedestrians. Slower speed limits are safer for pedestrians, but under current road designs, that’s not possible. (PostandCourier.com)
The Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Government (COG) has formed a new committee, the CHATS Safety Improvement Committee, to work with the state Department of Transportation (DOT) on ways to reduce traffic deaths.
Katie Zimmerman of the mobility nonprofit Charleston Moves serves on this committee. She said the main way to fix the problem, is to “build streets that are ‘complete’, which means they are safe and connected for people to not only drive, but also bike and walk and wait for the bus.” She wants to make sure the committee focuses on making the roads safer for all, instead of on what pedestrians and bikers need to do differently.
If you have suffered in an accident on the roads in South Carolina, and hire us, the legal team at the Law Offices of David L. Hood will work to help you navigate the situation professionally. We have years of experience in helping people involved in serious accidents figure out the legal requirements and details needed to move forward after an accident. After gathering all the necessary information, we will pour our efforts into building your case to get a fair settlement or take it to court if the need arises.
Our entire team has years of experience representing various clients and car accident victims in South Carolina. Having a passion to help, we offer a free initial consultation where we provide candid legal advice on what options you may have. If you choose to work with us, we promise a contingent-fee based case, where you don’t pay unless we get a recovery in your case.
You can find our contact information here and schedule your free consultation session. From the moment you hire us, we will stay with you each step of the way in the fight to achieve justice for you and your family.
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