South Carolina was the second most deadly state in 2011 for pedestrians and cyclists according to a new government-funded report by the Alliance for Biking and Walking. While South Carolina has one of the lowest numbers of bicyclists and pedestrians (ranked 44 of 50 states), pedestrian and cyclist deaths account for a disproportionate 11.9 percent of all traffic fatalities in the state.
The full report, published bi-annually since 2003, examines each state’s publicly reported traffic fatality rates. It also examines key indicators that promote a culture of pedestrian and bicyclist safety. South Carolina is also among the bottom third in the country in safety policy and 46th in safety funding. SC, paradoxically, is also among the top third in the per capita number of pedestrian/bike safety advocacy organizations.
Seniors are the most vulnerable population. According to the most recent data available, 2007-2009, those 65 and over account for a higher share of pedestrian and cyclist deaths nationally than any other age group. Seniors make up 19% of all pedestrian fatalities and 10% of bicyclist fatalities.
The only state to score lower than South Carolina in pedestrian and cyclist deaths was Florida. The top five states in pedestrian/cyclist safety were Vermont, Nebraska, Alaska, Wyoming, and South Dakota.