As temperatures rise, more people are outdoors, taking a leisurely walk downtown or enjoying a scenic bicycle ride. With more people out and about, there is an increased risk of striking a pedestrian or bicycle. For those behind the wheel, it’s even more important that you’re on the lookout for pedestrians and bicyclists at all times.
In the event that you’re walking or riding your bicycle and are injured after being struck by a negligent driver, retaining a skilled South Carolina personal injury attorney can help ensure that you recover the damages you’re owed.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
Unfortunately, South Carolina has seen an increase in bicyclist-related deaths in the last few years. According to a study done by the Governors Highway Safety Association, bicyclist deaths increased 12.2 percent in 2015, with 818 people killed in the United States. It’s estimated that adults with a median age of 45 are the most likely victims of bicyclist-related fatalities. Since 1975, it’s been a consistent trend that male bicyclists are nearly six times more at risk to die in a bicycle-related fatality than female riders.
According to the report, fatal accidents between bicycles and motor vehicles happen in urban locations 70 percent of the time, with 72 percent of those occurring at locations other than an intersection. There is an even distribution of accidents that take place during the day versus night time, but there is an obviously increased risk when riding at night.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
In 2013, according to a study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a pedestrian was killed every two hours, and another one injured every eight minutes due to vehicle collisions. In 2004, there were 4,675 pedestrian fatalities, which was 11 percent of the total number of traffic-related deaths. In 2013, the number jumped to 4,735, which was 14 percent of the total.
In South Carolina, there were 767 fatalities reported in 2013, with 100 of those being pedestrian-related deaths. That’s 13 percent or 2.09 deaths per 100,000 persons. For North Carolina, there were 173 pedestrian-related deaths, which was 13.4 percent of the total, or 1.76 deaths per 100,000 people.
Safety Reminders for Drivers
Remember to look for pedestrians everywhere, including in places you might not expect. Poor weather and the time of day can play a role in how hard it might be to see someone walking. Use extra caution around areas where children are present, like parks, neighborhoods, and school zones.
If you see a pedestrian by a crosswalk sign or stepping into a crosswalk, stop for them. If you see a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk, they may be stopping for a pedestrian as well, so don’t go speeding past or you might strike a pedestrian in a marked crosswalk.
Retaining a Personal Injury Attorney
If you were injured as a pedestrian or while riding a bicycle, or someone in your family was killed due to driver negligence, contact the Elrod Pope Law Firm. Let one of our skilled personal injury attorneys guide you through the difficult claims process and ensure you receive all the compensation you are owed.
Thomas E. Pope is a Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, and Medical Malpractice Attorney who practices in Rock Hill, Lake Wylie, and Lancaster, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 31 years now. Thomas E. Pope believes in protecting the injured. Learn more about his experience here.