Skip to Content
Call For A Free Consultation 843-968-0886

The Role of Duty of Care in Pedestrian-Vehicle Accidents


Car-pedestrian accident cases essentially depend on the duty of care of those involved. Both motorists and pedestrians are required to adhere to the rules of the road and exercise reasonable care.

Driver’s Duty of Care

In general, all vehicle drivers owe a duty to pedestrians—as well as to other motorists on the road—to use reasonable care to avoid the risk of harm to others. If a driver’s failure to exercise causes a pedestrian injury, he or she may be found negligent.

The following are the common examples of a driver failing to exercise his/her duty of care:

  • Distracted driving (i.e. texting, talking on the cell phone, grooming, consuming food, etc.)
  • Driving faster than the posted speed limit (i.e. speeding)
  • Disobeying traffic signs or signals
  • Failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians
  • Failing to signal while turning
  • Reckless driving
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs

Pedestrian’s Duty of Care

Just like motorists, pedestrians must exercise reasonable care for their own safety. The care required needs to be proportionate to the danger to be avoided and anticipated. If pedestrians failed to exercise such care and contributed to the cause of their own injuries, contributory negligence may be assessed against them.

Common examples of a pedestrian failing to exercise his/her duty of care include:

  • Jaywalking or disobeying the crosswalk signal at the intersection
  • Failing to use marked crosswalks
  • Jumping in front of a vehicle
  • Walking along prohibited areas, such as highways, bridges, and causeways

If both a pedestrian and a driver are partially at fault for the underlying accident in South Carolina, the state’s rules regarding comparative negligence will apply. This means that the pedestrian’s ability to recover will be reduced based on his or her percentage of fault.

For more information, contact Pierce | Sloan today.

Share To: