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Pedestrians, bikers may not be safe on South Carolina roads

In urban areas, it may not be uncommon for people to travel by bike or foot. Knowing that South Carolina generally has a mild climate, these activities could happen any time of year. Despite this fact, pedestrians and cyclists could be at risk whenever they decide to hit the road. Unfortunately, accident data seems to back this up.

The National Alliance for Biking and Walking issued a major study in 2013. Researchers collected data about bicycle and pedestrian accidents from various states and compared accident rates. For example, Oregon is known as known as one of the safest states in the country for bicyclists. However, cyclists are 10 times more likely to be killed by a car in South Carolina than in Oregon. This is a very sobering and concerning statistic.

According to a report from The Atlantic, many cities in the southern United States lack infrastructure that can help protect walkers and bikers. That's not to say, however, that actions aren't being taken. For example, South Carolina transportation officials have acknowledged that pedestrian and bike safety is a significant concern. In fact, a major bridge was recently constructed in the state -- and it includes dedicated bike lanes.

Despite some progress, a South Carolina safety organization notes that the state still ranks near the bottom for safety efforts. Keeping this in mind, people might feel somewhat powerless when they are injured in a bike or pedestrian accident. When less priority is given to those who use the roads without a motor vehicle, it might feel like there are no options to respond to an accident.

Those cyclists or pedestrians who are seriously hurt in a car accident should know that they don't have stay silent. South Carolina's personal injury laws are designed to help victims or their loved ones recover what has been lost in an accident, which can provide support during the healing process.

Source: The Atlantic, "Braving the Deep, Deadly South on a Bicycle," Aaron Reuben, March 7, 2014

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