Recent Report–Drunk Walking Can be as Deadly as Drunk Driving
Posted on February 12th, 2016 by Zane Cagle
According to a recent article in Consumer Affairs, pedestrian deaths are up 15 percent since 2009.
Using data from the U.S. Department of Fatality Analysis Reporting Systems (FARS), a team at Alcoholic.org compared the dangers of driving and walking while intoxicated. While FARS data shows that drunk drivers are killed at a much higher rate, the story changes when looking at the percentage of the two groups (pedestrians and drivers) were drunk when they died.
The findings indicate that a higher percentage of pedestrians than drivers killed in traffic accidents have been drunk, and the pedestrians may have actually been much more intoxicated than drunk drivers at the time they were killed. Of course, intoxication may be the reason some of the pedestrians were on foot.
Walkable neighborhoods are popular trend in real estate. Increasingly, more Millennials have especially favored residing in dense, walkable cities close to their workplace. Seemingly, this trend has a positive effect on physical health but has led to an increased concern for pedestrian safety.
This 15 percent increase reports pedestrians that are largely sober . Thus, the article purports that drunk walking can be as dangerous as drunk driving.
Other Reasons for Increase in Pedestrian Deaths
- Lighting Conditions–darkness was shown to be more dangerous than well-lit locations and more dangerous for pedestrian than drivers–this seems obvious right? But darkness was related to 92.8 percent of the drunk pedestrian deaths.
- Winter months–in the same theme as darkness, the winter months have shorter hours of daylight and FARS indicates a rise after September and police reports specifically record environmental conditions.
- Pedestrians are more exposed than occupants in a vehicle, therefore, suffer major injuries or death when hit. Much like a motorcyclist, a pedestrian does not have protection if they are hit by a vehicle.
- According to the data, men ten to experience more serious crashes than women, but women are more likely to die in crashes that are of equal severity–this could be related to the person’s physical size as well
- Pedestrian deaths spike on Saturdays all over the country.
One in Three Pedestrians Killed Nationally Were Drunk
If you have walked the streets of downtown St. Louis on your way to Ball Park Village or while visiting Washington Avenue, you see the increase in pedestrians on the weekend and you may see some drunk pedestrians. It’s double trouble if the drivers downtown are also intoxicated. While we tend to think of pedestrian accidents only occurring in metropolitan areas, they can also happen on rural roads and in small rural towns. Statistically, pedestrian accidents are concentrated in more population dense areas.
Some Parctical Advice:
If you are drinking………………Plan.
- As a pedestrian, use the sidewalks and obey crosswalks
- If you are intoxicated, consider a cab ride. At the very least, cross the street at a crosswalk and with other people
- Hail a cab or call Uber
Anytime you are out and drinking, plan how you are going to get home. Certainly, DO NOT climb behind the wheel. While drunk walking may statistically be as dangerous as drunk driving, you are only endangering yourself. Climbing behind the wheel while drunk and driving drunk can ultimately turn your vehicle into a weapon.
If You Have Been Injured…….
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle crash or as a pedestrian, you will need legal representation. The liability issues for pedestrians are somewhat different than for vehicles. In some cities, if you are a pedestrian and you are hit in any area Other than a crosswalk, you may forever be barred of making a personal injury claim for injury. Thus, as a pedestrian, practice safety even if it means you have to walk a half block to get to a pedestrian crossing.
Our attorneys are available seven days a week to speak with you or a family member if you have been injured.
Call us at (314) 276-1681.