Is jaywalking illegal in South Carolina? Traveling by foot offers both health and environmental benefits, but it is important to stay safe when you hit the pavement. While safety is a shared responsibility of pedestrians and drivers, it is crucial for walkers and bicycle riders to stay alert and stick to designated walkways.
Because pedestrians walking or biking near moving motor vehicles face an increased risk of a collision, it is important to review best practices – including the use of sidewalks and crosswalks. Hoffman Law Firm is committed to promoting safety on the road and alongside it, so read on to learn more.
What Is Jaywalking?
Jaywalking is a dangerous pedestrian practice that involves crossing a roadway outside of a crosswalk or designated area. Crossing against a red light or failing to yield to traffic may also be deemed jaywalking.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 5,000 pedestrians are killed each year in traffic accidents. Pedestrians are not always at fault in these fatal collisions, but jaywalking has been shown to boost the risk of getting hit by a car.
Is Jaywalking Illegal in South Carolina?
Some pedestrians cross the street improperly to save time, while others simply do not know that a crosswalk is available. No matter the reason, jaywalking is illegal in most states – including South Carolina. In fact, according to Section 56-5-3130 of South Carolina traffic laws, pedestrians are not permitted to leave the curb and cross into the path of a vehicle because it presents an “immediate hazard.” While enforcing this law is difficult, you may receive a citation and a fine if you are caught jaywalking.
Do Pedestrians Have the Right of Way in South Carolina?
Under South Carolina law, pedestrians (including those pushing strollers or in wheelchairs, rollerbladers, and skateboarders) must travel on sidewalks whenever they are present. Pedestrians have complete right-of-way on the sidewalk.
Driver Responsibility Under South Carolina Traffic Law
Drivers are responsible for the following:
- Obeying the speed limit and driving at speeds that are safe for the current weather and traffic conditions.
- Exercising every caution to avoid colliding with pedestrians.
- Being vigilant near crosswalks, intersections, stoplights, and other areas congested with foot traffic.
- Using turn signals at least 100 feet before executing a turn.
- Remaining on the lookout for pedestrians traveling with a guide dog, stroller, by wheelchair, or with a white cane/white cane tipped with red (owned by pedestrians who are completely or partially blind).
Pedestrian Responsibility Under South Carolina Traffic Law
Pedestrians must do the following:
- Walk on sidewalks whenever they are present.
- Travel on the road’s shoulder if no sidewalks are available.
- Walk on the far left side of the street if no shoulder or sidewalk is present.
- Cross a street or intersection at a crosswalk if available.
- Look both ways before crossing any road or intersection.
- Yield to oncoming traffic if no crosswalk is available.
Safety Tips for Pedestrians Crossing the Roads/ Walking
Most fatal pedestrian accidents involve intoxication or distraction (either the driver’s or pedestrian’s). While it is not possible to prevent every single accident, these tips go a long way toward reducing your risk:
- Keep one ear free if listening to music or a Bluetooth device so that you can hear oncoming traffic, car horns, etc.
- Keep your eyes up and avoid mobile device use or other distractions.
- Assume that oncoming cars can’t see you and maneuver accordingly.
- Never assume that a car’s turn signal guarantees that they are turning at an intersection.
- Never walk while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Be alert and aware of your surroundings.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
These startling statistics prove that pedestrian accidents are far too common in the Palmetto State and throughout the nation.
- In 2013, 4,735 pedestrians in the US died in traffic accidents.
- Another 150,000 victims were treated for non-fatal crash related injuries
- Pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely to be killed in a car crash than vehicle occupants.
- Alcohol use (driver or pedestrian) was reported in 49% of accidents resulting in pedestrian death.
If You Were Hit By a Bicycle, Bus, Car or Large Truck as a Pedestrian, Seek Legal Counsel with Hoffman Law Firm!
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, Hoffman Law Firm can help. Attorney David Hoffman and our legal team will fight to hold the at-fault driver accountable and to secure the settlement you deserve. For legal advice when you need it most, contact our accident attorneys today to schedule your free consultation!
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