When Claudia McGilvery crossed Main Street in Easley, she could not have imagined that those steps would be her last. Sadly, she was hit by a car and died shortly afterward. This is one of many auto-pedestrian accidents that has brought heartache to families across the country. In 2015 alone, nearly 130,000 pedestrians were sent to emergency rooms, and over 5,000 pedestrians lost their lives in auto collisions. That’s more than one death every two hours. In South Carolina, roughly 100 such fatalities occur annually.
Facts Worth Knowing about Pedestrian Accidents in South Carolina
A number of environmental factors impact pedestrian safety throughout the country. This is what studies tell us about pedestrian fatalities:
- Nearly three-fourths occur in urban locations;
- Roughly 70 percent occur outside of intersections;
- Almost 75 percent occur in darkness;
- The average age of individuals is 46;
- Five percent are youth aged 14 or younger;
- Nearly 20 percent are elderly individuals over age 64; and
- Almost 70 percent are males.
Impaired Drivers and Risks to Pedestrians
Unfortunately, approximately half of the fatalities involved in auto-pedestrian accidents were preventable. Studies indicate that nearly 50 percent of these incidents involved alcohol consumption by the vehicle driver (15 percent) and/or the pedestrian (34 percent).
Staying Safe on South Carolina Roads
Experts provide a number of safety tips for pedestrians:
- Use crosswalks and intersections when available;
- Dress for visibility;
- Avoid drugs or alcohol that might impair coordination, judgment, or agility;
- Stay on the path or sidewalk when available; otherwise, face traffic and stay as far to the right of traffic as possible; and
- Be particularly cautious at night.
Drivers, too, can take steps to avoid accidents involving pedestrians:
- Keep an eye out for pedestrians all the time; children often dart out unexpectedly;
- Never fail to make complete stops at stop signs and signals;
- Do not pass stopped vehicles at crosswalks or flashing lights;
- Never get behind the wheel if fatigued or impaired;
- Follow posted speed limits; and
- Use extra caution in neighborhoods and at night.
South Carolina Laws
Although pedestrians have a certain duty to be responsible, drivers are required to exercise due care in order to avoid crashing into pedestrians. Even if the individual is not in a crosswalk, drivers have a higher duty of caution because pedestrians are much more vulnerable in a collision. Drivers must always stay aware and keep their vehicles under control.
Calling a South Carolina Accident Lawyer Following a Collision
Any auto-pedestrian collision is a shock. Drivers are expected to stay at the scene and to assist in creating as safe a scenario as possible. 911 should be called, and appropriate law enforcement and medical personnel will make determinations as to next steps.
If the injuries or fatalities are the results of someone else’s negligence or recklessness, or if a driver leaves the scene without taking responsibility for the accident (hit and run), the aggressive and experienced legal team at Dan Pruitt Injury Law Firm will investigate and work tirelessly in the quest for justice on your behalf. Contact us in Greenville for a free, confidential consultation today.