Is Jaywalking Illegal in South Carolina?

couple jaywalking, crossing street

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.

Key Takeaways

  • Jaywalking is illegal in South Carolina, as stated in Section 56-5-3130 of traffic laws.
  • Pedestrians must not cross into vehicle paths due to the immediate hazard it poses and violators may receive fines if caught.
  • Over 5,000 pedestrians die annually in traffic accidents, and jaywalking increases the risk of getting hit by a car.

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.

Located in Charleston, SC, we support accident victims throughout the Palmetto State. 

Hoffman Law Firm 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!

Our personal injury law firm offers trusted legal representation in a wide variety of cases here in the Lowcountry, including: 

Personal injury 

Car Accident

Truck Accident

Motorcycle Accident

Workers’ Comp

Wrongful Death

Brain Injury

Spinal Cord Injury




Recovered for a man struck by a box truck who had run a red light.


Jury verdict for a woman with $200,000 in medical bills that was t-boned by a distracted driver.


Recovered for a man who struck a poorly lit commercial trailer.


Other Helpful Auto Accident Blogs: 

Pedestrian Traffic Laws in South Carolina

South Carolina Is Highly Unsafe For Pedestrians

Are Driver Assistance Technologies Preventing Car Accidents? 

Accidents Involving An Uninsured Driver, What Happens?

Who’s At Fault In an Accident Caused By Weather?

Can A Personal Injury Case Be Reopened in South Carolina?

Comparative Negligence: The Balance of Blame

Common Mistakes to Avoid in a Personal Injury Claim

Do You Have A Personal Injury Case?

Evidence: Your Personal Injury Case Depends on it

How Social Media Can Impact Your Personal Injury Claim

How Long Does It Take To Settle A Personal Injury Claim in Charleston?

Personal Injury Lawsuit: Definitions of Common Personal Injury Terminology

Maximizing Your Compensation in a Personal Injury Case

Understanding Lost Wages After You Were Injured In an Accident in South Carolina

What is a Contingency Fee When Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney?

What Are Mental Anguish Damages?

What Is the Role of Your Personal Injury Attorney? 

What Qualifies As Pain and Suffering in a Personal Injury Case?

10 Reasons You Lost Your Personal Injury Lawsuit: How To Win Your Next Lawsuit


Get a Free Consultation