Day 1: Understanding Pedestrian Rights and Responsibilities in South Carolina

Pedestrian safety is a critical issue in South Carolina, where both drivers and pedestrians share the responsibility of ensuring safe roadways. Understanding pedestrian rights and responsibilities is essential for preventing accidents and promoting safe interactions between pedestrians and vehicles. Here’s a comprehensive guide to pedestrian rights and responsibilities in South Carolina.

Pedestrian Rights in South Carolina

  1. Right of Way at Crosswalks:
    • Pedestrians have the right of way at marked crosswalks and intersections. Drivers must yield to pedestrians crossing the street within these designated areas.
  2. Sidewalks:
    • When sidewalks are available, pedestrians have the right to use them and are encouraged to walk on them instead of the roadway. This helps keep pedestrians safe from vehicular traffic.
  3. Unmarked Crosswalks:
    • Pedestrians also have the right of way at unmarked crosswalks at intersections. Drivers should always be prepared to yield to pedestrians crossing at these locations.
  4. Yielding to Vehicles:
    • Pedestrians must yield the right of way to vehicles when crossing outside of a crosswalk or intersection. Crossing the street mid-block without a crosswalk is known as jaywalking and can be dangerous.
  5. School Zones:
    • Special attention is given to school zones where children are present. Drivers must yield to pedestrians and adhere to reduced speed limits to ensure the safety of young pedestrians.

Pedestrian Responsibilities in South Carolina

  1. Obey Traffic Signals:
    • Pedestrians must obey traffic control signals and pedestrian signals. Crossing against a signal can result in accidents and legal consequences.
  2. Use Crosswalks:
    • Pedestrians should use designated crosswalks when crossing streets. This increases visibility and ensures that drivers are more likely to see and yield to them.
  3. Stay on Sidewalks:
    • When sidewalks are available, pedestrians should use them. Walking on the roadway, especially in high-traffic areas, can be dangerous.
  4. Look Both Ways:
    • Before crossing any street, pedestrians should look both ways to ensure it is safe. This simple precaution can prevent many accidents.
  5. Avoid Distractions:
    • Pedestrians should avoid using mobile devices or wearing headphones while crossing streets. Staying alert and aware of their surroundings is crucial for safety.
  6. Visibility:
    • Pedestrians should wear bright or reflective clothing when walking at night or in low-light conditions to increase visibility to drivers.

South Carolina Laws for Pedestrians and Drivers

  1. Duty of Care:
    • Both pedestrians and drivers have a duty of care to avoid accidents. Drivers must exercise caution, especially in areas where pedestrians are likely to be present, such as crosswalks and school zones.
  2. Pedestrian Under the Influence:
    • It is illegal for pedestrians to walk on roadways while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, as it poses a significant risk to their safety and the safety of others.
  3. Vehicle-Pedestrian Accidents:
    • In the event of a vehicle-pedestrian accident, South Carolina law requires drivers to stop, provide assistance, and report the accident to law enforcement. Hit-and-run incidents are taken very seriously and can result in severe penalties.

Safety Tips for Pedestrians

  1. Be Predictable:
    • Follow traffic rules and signals to ensure your actions are predictable to drivers.
  2. Cross at Designated Areas:
    • Always cross streets at marked crosswalks or intersections where drivers expect pedestrians.
  3. Stay Alert:
    • Keep your focus on the road and avoid distractions, such as using your phone or wearing headphones.
  4. Make Eye Contact:
    • Try to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them to ensure they see you.


Understanding and adhering to pedestrian rights and responsibilities is essential for preventing accidents and ensuring safety on South Carolina’s roads. Both pedestrians and drivers must work together to create a safe environment. If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident, contact The Bill Connor Law Firm in Orangeburg, SC, for expert legal guidance and representation.