The South Carolina Department of Public Safety has recently done a study to find out why pedestrians are so vulnerable on our roadways, and examined what drivers and pedestrians can do to avoid accidents that result in fatalities or severe injuries. Car accident attorneys often see several pedestrian-related accidents. Pedestrian fatalities in South Carolina accounted for 12 percent of all traffic-related deaths. There was a 23 percent increase in pedestrian fatalities from 2008 (100) to 2012 (123).
The SCDPS has a campaign called Target Zero, which aims to reduce the number of fatalities by 6 percent a year, with a benchmark of 69 pedestrian fatalities by 2018. The Target Zero campaign hopes to reduce the number of severe injuries by an average of 12 percent per year with a total of 143 severe injuries by 2018. The ultimate goal is to educate the public so that there will be no more pedestrian fatalities or injuries in South Carolina.
What are the lead causes of auto accidents involving pedestrians?
The SCDPS study found that pedestrians contributed to collisions involving fatalities or severe injuries more than 65 percent of the time. Alcohol impairment is high in those pedestrians involved in fatal and severe injury collisions. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), alcohol involvement for the driver and/or the pedestrian was reported in 49 percent of fatal pedestrian crashes.
Pedestrians are often encountered by motorists at night on secondary roads where they are inconspicuous to the driver due to dark clothing. A study done by NHTSA found that 26 percent of pedestrian fatalities occurred from 6 to 9 pm. The majority of pedestrian accidents occur in urban areas as opposed to rural areas. These accidents most frequently happen at non-intersections rather than at intersections.
Most accidents (92 percent) involve a single vehicle hitting a pedestrian. One fifth of pedestrians killed were struck in crashes that involved a hit and run driver.
Public awareness of pedestrian safety on the roadways is a goal of the Target Zero Campaign.
Drivers and pedestrians both need to be aware of their duty to obey the law on our roadways. Pedestrians always have the right of way in South Carolina, but are also required to obey traffic signals and to walk responsibly. The SCDPS Target Zero Campaign promotes efforts to improve pedestrian safety and to emphasize the risks they face on our roadways. The campaign encourages pedestrians to use the crosswalks and to avoid crossing against traffic signals, as well as wearing reflective apparel at night in order to be seen by drivers.
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If someone you love has been hit by a motor vehicle while walking, please contact the experienced car accident attorneys at Anderson, Moore, Bailey and Nowell. We are here to assist you and help you protect your rights.
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