As the weather warms and COVID restrictions relax, the Charleston area is busier than ever. From Downtown to the beaches, both locals and tourists are eager to enjoy all the Lowcountry has to offer.
But the increase in foot traffic can become dangerous as the streets fill with vehicles. In 2020, there were 6,721 pedestrian fatalities in the U.S., according to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association. Just one misstep could spell disaster for pedestrians – which is why the car accident lawyers at Hoffman Law Firm are committed to keeping them safe.
Because we believe that education is key to staying safe, we have detailed a few pedestrian traffic laws here. Be sure to review them before heading out onto the crowded streets of Charleston County!
Who Has the Right of Way?
Whether you are perusing boutique storefronts or cycling from one spot to the next, it is important to know who has the right of way in every situation. To prevent a car crash, pedestrians should remember the following:
Just like drivers of vehicles, pedestrians must obey all rules of the road, including traffic control signals and signage. If a pedestrian is using a crosswalk properly and crossing when the signal indicates, drivers must yield. This rule also applies if the pedestrian is in the same half of the crosswalk that the vehicle will pass through or if they are approaching from the opposite side of the street.
However, if Charleston County pedestrians cross when they are not supposed to or ignore crosswalks altogether, they are taking a major risk. Unless instructed to cross, pedestrians must yield to oncoming vehicles.
Pedestrians should NEVER do the following:
- Cross outside of a crosswalk
- Cross when traffic control signals warn against it
- Cross diagonally (unless other instructed by a signal)
- Walk along a highway (unless performing work approved by law enforcement beforehand)
In terms of liability in an injury claim, each pedestrian or cyclist is essentially responsible for their own safety. If the pedestrian is found to be at fault (or partially at fault) in the car accident case, compensation can be deducted. This is where comparative negligence comes into play, meaning that each party’s relative fault in an accident must be balanced.
Common Reasons for Car Accidents Involving Pedestrians
Pedestrians can become Charleston car accident victims in the blink of the eye due to the following:
- Distracted driving
- Impaired driving
- Fatigued driving
- Improper passing or illegal turns
- Jaywalking or illegal crossing
- Walking with distractions (Texting, headphones in)
- Inclement weather/reduced visibility
- Backing up without checking behind the vehicle
What to Do If You Have Been Involved in an Accident
If you have been in a car or truck accident, be sure to do the following:
- Call 911 and get an accident report.
- Gather evidence at the accident scene if possible (photos, videos, etc).
- Exchange contact and insurance information with everyone involved, including witnesses.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if you don’t think you are injured.
- Keep all important documents, such as medical bills and records of lost wages.
- Get eye witness statements.
Because handling your car accident case on your own can be difficult, contact an experienced car accident attorney in Charleston as soon as possible. In the meantime, remember that the insurance company is not on your side. That’s why it is so important to establish a trusted attorney-client relationship, and to let your attorney handle your accident claim as well as all communications with the insurance company.
Call Your Car Accident Law Firm in Charleston!
If you have been injured in an accident with a motor vehicle in Charleston, SC, get in touch today! Our car accident injury lawyers in Charleston are here to help – and to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. During your free consultation, we will discuss the damages you are eligible for, such as compensation for medical bills, property damage, pain and suffering and more.
To schedule your free consultation with our car accident lawyers in Charleston, contact Hoffman Law Firm today!