Walking is a proven way to increase your health and well-being. A half-hour walk, several times a week, can help to reduce blood pressure, increase flexibility, and reduce stress levels. Here in the Palmetto State, the combination of temperate weather and scenic places makes walking all the more enjoyable. We’ve got an abundance of state parks and historic places to explore, beaches and boardwalks, and some of the most beautiful cities in the world. While South Carolina stands out in the minds of many for all of these places, we also stand out for an unfortunate statistic: a high incidence of pedestrian fatalities. Injuries due to pedestrian accidents are often serious, life threatening, and are all too often fatal. Here’s what you need to know in order to reap the benefits of walking and avoid becoming a statistic.
Injuries Due To Pedestrian Accidents
Highway Traffic Safety reports South Carolina as leading the nation in traffic-related pedestrian deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) over 400 pedestrians will be treated in hospital emergency rooms within the next 24 hours for injuries due to pedestrian accidents.
Pedestrians have little to protect themselves in the event of these types of accidents, and their injuries are often severe. Common injuries include:
- Head and neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Cuts, abrasions, and lacerations
- Damage to internal organs due to crushing injuries
These injuries can result in permanent, lasting medical conditions requiring long-term care and physical rehabilitation. Partial or total disability can impact the victim’s ability to work and permanently alter their quality of life.
Safety Tips For Pedestrians
To increase safety and help to avoid or prevent accidents, the South Carolina Department of Transportation offers the following safety tips for pedestrians:
- Use sidewalks: Avoid walking directly on roadways or highway shoulders. Use designated walkways or sidewalks whenever possible.
- Use crosswalks: Don’t just cross the street just because you see a lull in traffic. Crosswalks exist at intersections and thoroughfares; use them. The majority of pedestrian accidents occur during street crossings where crosswalks aren’t used.
- Look and listen. Look left, then right, then left again before crossing the street. Listen for the sound of sirens or screeching tires to alert you to potential emergency situations that could put you in danger.
- Increase your visibility. Wear bright, contrasting colored clothing when walking. Pause at curbs or crosswalks to alert drivers that you intend to cross.
- Don’t text or use earbuds when walking. Pay attention and stay focused on where you are walking and what is going on around you.
- Don’t walk if you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Being under the influence impairs judgment, diminishes motor skills, and may cause you to take more risks and be more accident prone.
In addition to the above, be careful walking at night, and at any time of the day, make sure to obey traffic signals. By following these simple steps, you can enjoy your walk, while keeping yourself safe in the process.
Contact Our Experienced South Carolina Accident Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident, contact Anastopoulo Law Firm. Our experienced South Carolina accident attorneys understand that pedestrian accidents cause serious, life impacting injuries, and we’ll fight to get you the compensation you deserve. With offices in Charleston and throughout South Carolina, call us today for a free review of your case.