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South Carolina roads unsafe at any speed for pedestrians, Part 2

Being able to get from place to place safely is a critical component of being a mobile individual. And, unfortunately, we revealed the fact that pedestrians in South Carolina face significant danger when compared to other states in a blog post last week.

Statistics published by Smart Growth America demonstrate that South Carolina is among the five most dangerous states for pedestrians, but this doesn't tell the whole story. Of course, readers are probably wondering why pedestrian accidents are so commonplace. Driver negligence certainly accounts for many motor vehicle accidents, but pedestrians are often forced to deal with infrastructure that doesn't support their needs.

As we indicated in the previous post, one state transportation official suggested that much of the highway and road infrastructure was built for a car-centric society. In today’s day and age, more than 30 percent of Americans don't drive, according to a spokesperson for Smart Growth. In other words, it seems as though transportation considerations should be made with those individuals in mind.

In order to accommodate the safety of everyone on the road -- not just pedestrians -- public groups have suggested redesigning roads and shaping policy to promote safety. Smart Growth's report, for example, has proposes that public agencies take a comprehensive approach. This means that the number of traffic lanes may need to be reduced, median islands could be added to roads to support pedestrians and speed limit policies might need to be revised.

The main idea here is that public agencies also play a major factor in preventing accidents. In some cases, negligent road design or maintenance could contribute to accidents. As a result, injured pedestrians may consider looking beyond other drivers as responsible parties in the wake of an accident.

Source: AlJazeera America, "Study: Florida deadliest for walkers; minorities, seniors face most risk," Haya El Nasser, May 20, 2014

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