Pedestrian accidents are a serious problem in South Carolina. The state Department of Public Safety reports that there were 1,119 crashes between pedestrians and motor vehicles in 2019. All told, these crashes resulted in 862 minor injuries, 230 serious injuries, and 168 deaths.
To help reduce the number of pedestrian accidents in South Carolina, drivers must be aware of their legal responsibilities and pedestrians’ rights. This information is also helpful to pedestrian accident victims since it might help them recover fair compensation for their injuries. Keep reading to learn more about drivers’ responsibilities toward pedestrians in South Carolina.
Pedestrian Rights in South Carolina
The rights of pedestrians in South Carolina include:
- The right to finish crossing a road once they’ve started doing so or to cross a roadway if they’re close to an intersection and traffic control signals are not present or not working
- The right to protection from any and all vehicles approaching an intersection, not just the vehicle closest to the intersection
- The right to full safety from all vehicles when walking on a sidewalk
- The right to cross a street or attempt to cross a street at any point, including outside of a crosswalk, if the pedestrian carries a raised cane or walking stick (indicating they’re visually impaired) or is accompanied by a guide dog
In tandem with pedestrians’ right to walk along a street or cross at an intersection safely, South Carolina drivers have certain legal responsibilities toward pedestrians. According to information collected by the University of South Carolina, these responsibilities include:
- Drivers must drive at safe speeds for current conditions, including weather, lighting, and traffic.
- Drivers must obey posted speed limits.
- Drivers must exercise every possible caution to avoid hitting a pedestrian. They should be especially careful at crosswalks, intersections, stoplights, and during peak foot traffic.
- Drivers must activate their turn signals at least 100 feet before reaching an intersection.
- Drivers should watch for pedestrians using a guide dog or cane, as well as pedestrians in strollers and wheelchairs.
- Walkways and sidewalks are for pedestrian use only. Mopeds, scooters, and other vehicles should use roadways to minimize the chance of a collision with a pedestrian.
Injuries Caused by Negligent Drivers
Because of the disparate sizes and weights of a pedestrian and a motor vehicle, pedestrian accidents often cause catastrophic injuries. Some of the more common injuries caused by negligent drivers are:
- Broken bones
- Internal organ damage
- Soft tissue injuries (damaged muscles, ligaments, and tendons)
- Spinal cord damage
- Neck and back injuries
- Injuries to the head and face
- Traumatic brain injuries
Compensation for a Pedestrian Accident
If you were struck by a driver while walking, you might be able to recover compensation for your injuries from the driver. Depending on the extent of your injuries and other factors, you could be owed compensation for:
- Your medical bills
- Your lost wages and reduced future earning capacity
- The physical pain of your injuries
- The psychological harm resulting from your injuries
- Your damaged personal property
How Powers Law Could Help
Powers Law can help if you’ve been hurt in a pedestrian accident. We can investigate your accident, gather evidence to show how the driver who hit you is at fault for those injuries, negotiate with the driver and their insurer for a full and fair settlement, and bring your case to trial if necessary. To speak with a South Carolina pedestrian accident lawyer in a free initial consultation, call our office or visit our contact page.