| Sheriff Jay Koon |

The weather is getting cooler and more South Carolinians want to be outside; running near the dam, walking neighborhoods with their families, and heading out for nights on the town.

That means more pedestrians on the streets, crosswalks and sidewalks.

NHTSA reports that there is a traffic-related pedestrian death every 84 minutes in the United States. While the CDC notes that most of these deaths occur in urban areas, at non-intersection locations and at night.

These tragedies can be prevented by taking precautions when walking, riding or driving.

For pedestrians:

  • Walk on sidewalks when available. If you are unable, walk facing traffic and as far off the road as you can get.
  • Never assume drivers can see you. Be visible at all times—bring a flashlight, wear reflective materials.
  • Be alert at all times; don’t be distracted by electronics.
  • Watch for vehicles entering and exiting roadways.
  • Cross streets using designated crosswalks or intersections whenever possible.

For drivers/riders:

  • Always yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, school zones and bus stops, and never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk.
  • Never drive under the influence.
  • Slow down when turning into or out of a roadway.
  • Use caution every time you get behind the wheel.
  • Slow down; never assume the person walking sees you.

Teach your children what safe walking looks like; school-age children frequently need guidance and supervision when playing and walking near roadways.

Remember, safety is a shared responsibility. At some point, we’re all a pedestrian.