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With so many historic gems within a short distance of Charleston Harbor, it’s no wonder that tourists flock to this city for some of the most delightful walking tours in the nation. The Charleston Peninsula south of Broad Street is a veritable treasure chest of American history. And, if ghost tours are something you enjoy, then you’re really in luck.
Drivers on the road are busy watching signals, other cars, and checking out the new shops on the block. They expect those walking the streets to have a much more focused eye on where they are going. Meanwhile, pedestrians expect drivers to obey the laws and that they are safe when crossing on a green light and within a crossing zone. In most cases, pedestrians win, as long as they are not doing anything outrageous like darting into the street or forcing their way across several lanes of moving traffic. But ‘being right’ doesn’t always mean you’re not liable.
As a Charleston pedestrian accident attorney practice, we’d like to share this research because we want you to be aware of the dangers facing our citizens and visitors. According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, there were 150 pedestrian deaths in 2016; with these fatalities accounting for 13.1% of all in-state pedestrian accidents during the year. You can see from the chart below that pedestrian collision fatalities are increasing in South Carolina.
Due to the heavy vehicular traffic in Charleston, and the critical grip it holds on the economy, the city has made improvements as recently as July 2018 to keep pedestrians safer on its roadways. For instance, there have been changes to the Crosstown (Septima Clark Parkway) – used by 60,000 vehicles per day. There have been more signals placed at Coming Street, requiring pedestrians to stop before crossing both the north and southbound lanes; signals have been re-timed to give people more time to cross, and no-turn-on-red light signs have been positioned at busy intersections.
It is vital to continue our efforts to meet the challenges that Charleston presents, in order to maintain its reputation as the unique and historically important city it has always been.
USC’s Crime Prevention and Safety Resources provides a Pedestrian Safety page which outlines precautions around the busy campus district. It has a particularly clear description of legal obligations for both drivers and pedestrians, and we have listed some of both – paying particular attention to those less frequently mentioned:
Adjust to safe speeds in adverse conditions, such as heavy rain, lightning, and congested traffic.
South Carolina Law dictates that you must take every precaution to avoid colliding with a pedestrian.
Take special care during school opening and closing hours, and as school buses are loading/unloading.
Activate turn signals at least 100 feet before you turn; this affects pedestrians as well as other drivers behind or beside you.
Watch out for pedestrians with guide dogs, strollers, wheelchairs or canes (white or white with red tips are partially blind).
According to South Carolina Law, all pedestrians (including skaters, and those using assistive devices) must walk on sidewalks wherever they exist.
Pedestrians have complete right of way on the sidewalk and should stay on the shoulder if no sidewalk is available. If there is no shoulder, you must walk on the far left side of a road (facing traffic).
If crossing without a crosswalk, you must yield to all oncoming traffic.
At a signal, push the button and wait for the sign to change; look both ways before proceeding and yield to any traffic already in the intersection.
The firm of Auger & Auger has nearly four decades of personal injury experience with which to pursue your case – whether against big insurers or in civil court. As soon as practical to do so, please contact us for a free consultation to discuss your accident, and obtain the help you need with medical bills, job loss and financial compensation for pain and suffering.
Call (843) 751-4690 today for your free consultation, with no fees due until recovery!