South Carolina ranks 4th highest in nation for pedestrian deaths

Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 6:39 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - South Carolina is one of the deadliest states in the nation for pedestrian deaths, and some Lowcountry residents say it’s no surprise.

“The only surprising thing to probably just the general public would be that we aren’t number one,” says Katie Zimmerman, who advocates for pedestrian and cyclist safety with the non-profit called Charleston Moves.

The data comes from a new report from Car Insurance Comparison, which analyzed data from the U.S. Census and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and ranked South Carolina as the fourth most deadly state in the country.

The statistics from those two groups show that South Carolina’s pedestrian death rate is 60% higher than the national average. The report focuses on how these statistics affect drivers and car insurance - how hitting a person can raise your premium.

Zimmerman with Charleston Moves says the problem is about more than just saving a dime - it comes down to design.

“Maybe it’s helpful for people to know that if they hit and kill someone, their insurance premiums might go up,” Zimmerman says. “But our roadways and bridges are not designed with human beings in mind. They have traditionally been designed over the past several decades to accommodate motorized vehicles moving as quickly as possible.”

The report and Charleston Moves say these pedestrian deaths are also disproportionately affecting communities of color and the elderly. You can find that full report here.

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