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Data & Safety Statistics

PCC Bicycle and Pedestrian Crashes Report, 2009-2017

Read the report by Charles Brown, researcher at Rutgers, about SC’s pedestrian and bicycle injury and fatality crash data over a 9 year period.  In 2018, this report was provided to SCDOT and served to jumpstart writing of the Departmental Directive for Complete Streets.  Funded through the Voices for Healthy Kids collaborative initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the American Heart Association, the report attempted to better understand the contributing factors surrounding bicycle and pedestrian crashes, injuries, and fatalities in South Carolina.  In addition, the report highlighted counties and areas of greatest concern, including Charleston with the highest ped/bike fatality incidence/rate.  Yet the report also dispelled previously held myths and elevated a new reality:  that South Carolina’s highest rates of bike/ped crashes are also occurring in very rural counties, including many without any planning at all for ped/bike safety and access.

SCDOT Pedestrian Crash Analysis

In 2019, SCDOT analyzed 2014-2018 pedestrian crashes and determined this preliminary study.  This study was done as an initial dip into figuring out how to fix (mitigate) the growing pedestrian epidemic in SC.

PCC Bicycle and Pedestrian Crashes Report, 2009-2015

Read the original Report by Chris Clark, PCC Policy Fellow, about SC’s pedestrian and bicycle injury and fatality data.  This Report revealed interesting summary stats, including typical conditions of crashes, in addition to correlations between location (Councils of Government) and demography.

Alliance Benchmarking Report

benchmarking-2016-cover-180On a biennial basis, the Alliance for Biking and Walking releases the U.S. Bicycling and Walking Benchmarking Report.  This project is an on-going effort spearheaded by the Alliance for Biking and Walking to collect and analyze data on bicycling and walking in all 50 states and at least the 50 most-populated U.S. cities.  The Benchmarking Report is an essential resource for us to use in promoting bicycling and walking. The first biennial report was released August 29, 2007, and every 2 years  the Alliance expands the scope of this project while refining its methods.

The 2016 Benchmarking Report:  Bicycling and Walking in the United States collects and analyzes data from all 50 states, 52 of the most populous cities, and 17 small and midsized cities (Charleston included). The report traces the rise of walking and biking and explores its connection to equity, mobility, health, economics, and a host of other issues.  See our press release and summary here:

Mode share:  The commute mode share, from the American Communities survey of the US Census, broadly underestimates actual # of biking and walking trips taken, but indicates trends.  SC ranks 33rd in the country in walking and biking commute mode share.  In Charleston, 5.8% of people walk, and 2.5% of people bike to work.  (From 2009 – 2013, Charleston had the highest growth rate in the United States in bicycling, at 73.36%, coming from a different source).

Demographics:  While women constitute 48% of our state population, in 2016 only 39% of all commuters who WALK to work are female (US averages 46%), and only 24% of all commuters who BIKE to work are female (US averages 27%).  SC has a disproportionately large percentage of low income commuters who WALK and take TRANSIT to work. While 17% of SC population is low income, this population makes up 41% of walking commuters and 44% of transit commuters.  SC has a disproportionately large percentage of African Americans that WALK and take TRANSIT to work. While 29% of SC is African American, this population makes up 35% of walking commuters and 73% of transit commuters.  Our total state population rose 15.3% from 2000-2010, a similar rate of change from the previous 3 decades, almost entirely in urban areas.  And finally, 9% of SC land is considered urban, notably higher than the US average (3.0% in a 0.1-39.7% range)

Economics:  SC spends $0.83 per capita on biking and walking projects, ranking 45th highest in the country, and 0.6% of the average annual SCDOT budget.  A separate study reported that the cost of maintaining a car in South Carolina is on average 14 to 21% of income reserved for basic needs, and this does not include the initial car purchase.*

Safety:  SC ranks 46th in the country in bicycle and pedestrian fatalities, with 23.7 fatalities per 10,000 commuters. (no change from 2 years ago).  13% of all traffic fatalities are either pedestrians (11%) or bicyclists (2%), and the proportion has risen steadily over the last decade.

Health:  49% of South Carolinians get 150+ minutes weekly of physical activity, a 4% rise from 2005.  

*This is the minimum cost of operating and maintaining an automobile in SC, including only the following basics only: daily commute to work and daycare, in addition to one weekly grocery and errand trip. The cost further does not include other expenses, such as the initial purchase price of the car or other recreational or social trips. The average commute distance in SC is 26.4 miles (Self-Sufficiency 2016).

South Carolina Bicycle Crash Data

Below you can see several graphs illustrating the patterns of bike injuries and fatalities based on time of day, day of the week, gender and age.


Day of the Week


Time of Day


On average, 40% of people do not drive, including students, the elderly, and low income South Carolinians.  While 28% of our state is African American, 45% of bicycle and pedestrian injuries and fatalities are among African Americans.  While 70% of SC roads are state owned, 93% of pedestrian and 95% of bike fatalities are on state owned roads, and 86% of pedestrian and 85% of bike injuries are on state owned roads.