SCHP: Tread carefully when being a pedestrian

SOUTH CAROLINA (WMBF) – With fatal accidents involving pedestrians on the rise, the South Carolina Highway Patrol wants to remind the public to use caution when walking.

Lance Cpl. Sonny Collins, spokesman for the South Carolina Highway Patrol, said most pedestrian accidents occur during morning and afternoon peak travel times, however, most pedestrian fatalities occur at night.

Many drivers are also leaving the scene of the accident and believe it is due to drivers not realizing the object they hit was actually a person, or alcohol is involved.

Drivers also panic believing they will face charges related to injuring or killing someone.

"Call for some help. Let us give that person medical attention because these hit and runs most of the time we're able to find the pieces of the car," Collins said. "Our team can then come up with the description of the car, and we do eventually do find the driver, so it's so much better if you go ahead and call, and we can get all that worked out right then."

Even if charges are not filed, there are still lasting scars that come with this type of accident, which is even more incentive to be ready for the unexpected and slow down.

Collins added there are steps drivers can take to keep an accident from happening. Plan ahead and be prepared to come up on a pedestrian. Know ahead of time what to do in the heat of the moment and do not speed.

It is illegal to walk in the roadway. Collins said pedestrians are at fault nearly 63 percent, with primary causes of being in the roadway illegally and improper crossing.

To stay safe, Collins said pedestrians must walk on the left shoulder of the roadway, facing traffic and wear light and reflective clothing if walking at night.

Drivers describe driving at night. "I'll be driving down 544, and there is not very much lighting out there," Sheila Lane said. "I'm always afraid somebody could be running across the road because there are a lot of jaywalkers out there at nighttime, and I'm just so afraid that I might not be able to see them crossing the road."

Pedestrians should never walk on the roadway after consuming alcohol.

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