Carolina pedestrian accidents carry serious risk of fatal injuries

A South Carolina Department of Public Safety study on pedestrian safety indicates from January 1, 2005 through December 31, 2009 there were 4,565 traffic crashes involving at least 1 pedestrian.

During this 5-year period the highest number of pedestrian crashes was 962 in 2007 and the lowest number was 864 in 2005. During the study, were 522 fatal injuries and 4,497 non-fatal injuries.
Carolina pedestrian accidents are more common that we like to admit. Our Carolina personal injury lawyers and wrongful death attorneys understand that pedestrian accidents most often lead to serious or fatal injuries. Such life-changing accidents always require the experience and advise of a dedicated law firm.

Charleston County had the most pedestrian-related crashes with 774 resulting in 58 deaths. Other counties with high pedestrian crash rates were Richland, Horry and Greenville. They had a total of 1,398 crashes with fatalities totaling 130.

Statewide, there were 1,908 pedestrian crashes on secondary routes — interstates had the fewest crashes with 144.

Nationally in 2008, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 4,378 pedestrians were killed which is a fatality rate of 1.44 per 100,000 population.

Ranked 4th highest of all states was South Carolina with a fatality rate of 2.33 per 100,000 population. North Carolina, slightly better statistically, recorded a fatality rate of 1.73 per 100,000 population.

Of the 522 people that were killed in these crashes, 518 were pedestrians (3 were drivers of motor vehicles and 1 was a motorcyclist). As stated previously, these statistics included crashes where at least 1 pedestrian was involved. Of the 518 pedestrians killed 73% were male. The age group with the highest number of pedestrian fatalities was 40-49 at 24.5% followed by 19.1% for the 20-29 year-old age group.

Early evening (6:01 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.) is the worst time of day for pedestrian accidents but early night (9:01 p.m. – midnight) was the worst period for pedestrian deaths.

October is the worst month for pedestrian crashes; n the 5-year time frame there were 485 which resulted in 66 pedestrian fatalities.

A study by a unit in the Highway Patrol that reconstructs collisions looked at how speed, clothing, and distance effects pedestrian visibility. The study showed that wearing reflective clothing gives drivers (at speeds as low as 25 mph) about 400 feet to see a pedestrian compared to 100-175 feet when wearing dark clothing. Pedestrians grossly over-estimate the distance drivers can spot them on the road.

Tips for motorists by the Highway Patrol:

-Use high beams on poorly lit and rural roadways.

-Always be on the lookout for pedestrians.

-Avoid distractions when driving that would make you take your eyes off the road.

-If your vehicle hits an object while driving and you don’t know what it is, stop and check.

Tips for pedestrians by the Highway Patrol:

-Know the law. For the most part pedestrians can’t walk legally in the road. Vehicles usually have the right of way when the road has a sidewalk or shoulder.

-Wear reflective or brightly colored clothing whenever possible. Also, put reflective material on moving body parts like ankles and wrists.

-If there is no shoulder or sidewalk, walk closely to the edge of the road facing traffic.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident, contact an experienced attorney at Lee & Smith today for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-887-1965.

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