When a Bluffton man was killed in an auto-pedestrian collision in January 2018, conflicting stories caused investigators to wonder how events actually unfolded. While the driver of the vehicle claimed the pedestrian was in the middle of the road, his roommate contested that account, saying he was near the bike path. One thing all parties agree on: the driver stopped momentarily, and then left the scene. She quickly called police to report the incident.
With spring just around the corner, more and more people will be traveling on foot, prompting the need for a reminder about pedestrian safety. In the event you or a loved one is injured in an auto-pedestrian accident, a local personal injury attorney may be able to advise you on next steps.
Auto Pedestrian Collision Statistics
The facts related to pedestrians who are hit by motor vehicles are startling:
- They are one and one-half times more likely to be killed in a collision than occupants of the vehicle;
- Roughly 5,000 pedestrian fatalities occur annually in this country;
- 150,000 individuals are treated for injuries related to auto pedestrian crashes throughout the United States every year; and
- About half of these accidents involve alcohol-induced impairment of either the driver or the pedestrian.
Responsibilities of Pedestrians
Pedestrians have a certain level of responsibility for their own safety when traveling along a roadway or crossing a street:
- Pedestrians, including those using rollerblades, wheelchairs, and skateboards, are required by South Carolina law to cross the road in crosswalks when available;
- They should remain on sidewalks where available, and as far to the right as possible on the shoulder of the road when sidewalks are not available;
- When even a shoulder is not present, pedestrians should stay far to the right of the roadway;
- When crossing the road without benefit of a crosswalk, pedestrians should look both ways and yield to traffic.
- It’s smart to keep at least one ear free of headphones in order to hear oncoming traffic;
- Keep eyes on the road, not on phones, devices, or other items; and
- Assume you are not seen until proven otherwise.
Without question, pedestrians are at greater risk of injury or death in the event of a collision, making driver safety imperative:
- They must drive appropriately for the conditions of the road;
- They must obey posted speed limits and other road signs;
- They must yield to pedestrians in crosswalks;
- Driving must be taken seriously, and drivers must not get behind the wheel when impaired due to drugs or alcohol.
If a Collision Occurs
South Carolina law requires drivers to exercise due care on the road, and keep a proper lookout for pedestrians. Following any accident involving injuries, drivers are obligated to stay on the scene until law enforcement arrives. Assistance should be offered and contact and insurance information exchanged. If negligence or recklessness is determined to have been a factor in the accident, the driver may be held liable for damages. To understand the issues involved with your accident, contact the experienced team at Dan Pruitt Injury Law Firm. The initial consultation is free and confidential.