Any collision involving a pedestrian and a motor vehicle can quickly turn tragic for the pedestrian. Left turn accidents are among the most dangerous types of accidents for pedestrians. Drivers making a left turn may not notice a pedestrian in a crosswalk or unmarked intersection until it’s too late. Fortunately, recent traffic engineering innovations and traffic calming designs can help prevent left turn pedestrian accidents.
If you or a family member has been the victim of a left turn pedestrian accident, the personal injury attorneys at Joye Law Firm can help you seek full compensation for your injuries and financial losses. For more than 50 years, the injury lawyers of Joye Law Firm have fought for the rights of accident victims and their families throughout South Carolina.
With four offices across South Carolina, our attorneys at Joye Law Firm are ready to assist you and your family following a left turn pedestrian accident. It’s important to keep in mind that each pedestrian accident case has its own set of facts. Our attorneys regularly secure significant settlements and verdicts for our clients who have suffered serious and life-altering injuries. We have the experience to build your strongest case for compensation.
Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation to review the details of your left turn accident. We will explain how our South Carolina personal injury lawyers can help you seek a just financial recovery from those responsible for your injuries. Give us a call at 877-941-2615 or fill out the form on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation.
Left Turn Pedestrian Accidents in SC
Left turn pedestrian accidents in South Carolina have the potential to be among the most violent collisions between vehicles and pedestrians. When a driver makes a left turn through an intersection, the driver typically focuses on oncoming cars and trucks at the intersection. A driver may not focus on the crosswalk as they are approaching to check whether a pedestrian is attempting to cross. As a result, both driver and pedestrian may not recognize an impending collision until it’s too late to avoid.
Although overall fatalities in motor vehicle accidents have been decreasing in the past few decades, pedestrian fatalities in motor vehicle accidents have increased during the past decade. Pedestrian accidents account for as much as 17 percent of all traffic-related fatalities.
A report entitled Dangerous by Design 2019 produced by the National Complete Streets Coalition, ranked South Carolina among the 10 most dangerous states for pedestrian accidents based on the average number of pedestrian fatalities per year and the total number of fatalities from the period 2008 to 2018 analyzed in the study.
Some municipalities across the country have taken steps aimed at eliminating pedestrian fatalities. They have enacted laws to target aggressive driving and made changes to intersection designs to force motorists to slow down and drive more safely around pedestrians.
Traffic engineers have been developing low-cost, easily installed equipment that can reduce the risk of left turn pedestrian accidents or reduce the severity of collisions. These installed features are intended to force drivers to slow down when making left turns and prevent them from cutting across intersections diagonally, which poses more danger for pedestrians.
What is the Centerline Hardening Technique?
Among the intersection design improvements developed to prevent left turn pedestrian accidents, the centerline hardening technique has proven both highly effective and inexpensive to implement. The centerline hardening technique involves installing bollards, rubber curbs, poles, or other blocking devices between the pedestrian crosswalk and the open intersection.
The centerline hardening devices force drivers making a left turn to reduce their speed and make a wider turn closer to a 90-degree angle, since a higher-speed, direct diagonal turn would cause the vehicle to collide with the bollards. With a slower, 90-degree turn, drivers have more time to notice people on foot crossing the intersection and to slow down in time to prevent a collision with a pedestrian.
Effectiveness of the Centerline Hardening Technique
A recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that the centerline hardening technique reduced the number of left turn pedestrian accidents and near-accidents at intersections where centerline hardening devices had been installed.
Using data from intersections in Washington D.C. where the centerline hardening technique has been implemented, the study said that the new infrastructure resulted in a 70 percent reduction in the number of incidents in which a driver had to brake suddenly or swerve to avoid a pedestrian, or a pedestrian had to move out of the way of a vehicle making a left turn.
The study found that centerline hardening at intersections reduced the average speed of vehicles making left turns by as much as seven percent. The number of drivers making left turns at 15 mph or more dropped by 36 percent. Reduced speeds mean lower risk of a pedestrian suffering serious injuries in the event of a collision.
In those intersections in Washington D.C., where centerline hardening equipment had not been installed, the number of conflicts between vehicles and pedestrians remained unchanged.
Contact a Charleston Left Turn Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a left turn pedestrian accident in South Carolina, you need experienced legal guidance to help you protect your legal rights. Our attorneys can help you explore every avenue to seek compensation to recover from a serious injury.
Contact a South Carolina left turn pedestrian accident attorney at Joye Law Firm today for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your legal rights and options and to learn more about how our legal team can help you. Joye Law Firm has offices in Charleston, Columbia, Clinton and Myrtle Beach and represents clients throughout the state. Call us at 877-941-1019 or fill out our contact form to schedule your meeting.