South Carolina ranks 4th nationally in pedestrian fatalities

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) – South Carolina is one of the deadliest states in the country in terms of pedestrian deaths, and some Lowcountry residents say it’s no surprise.

“The only thing surprising to the general public would probably be if we weren’t number one,” says Katie Zimmerman, who advocates for pedestrian and cyclist safety with the charity 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 deadliest state in the country.

Statistics from these two groups show that South Carolina’s pedestrian fatality rate is 60% higher than the national average. The report focuses on how these statistics affect drivers and auto insurance – how hitting someone can increase your premium.

Zimmerman with Charleston Moves says the problem isn’t just about saving a dime – it comes down to design.

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

The report and Charleston Moves indicate that these pedestrian deaths also disproportionately affect communities of color and the elderly. You can find this full report here.

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