The Danger Of Drunk Walking
Drunk driving is a known killer, but few people realize that drunk walking is also quite lethal. For instance, a 2011 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NHTSA study found that one-third of pedestrian deaths were due to this preventable tragedy.
Not only are most pedestrian revelers out at night when it’s harder for drivers to see them, their compromised physical coordination and motor control makes them more likely to weave or fall into traffic suddenly. Spatial judgment and vision is also affected by booze, making it easier for drunks to misjudge the time they need to cross the street. Adding to the problem, tipsy pedestrians tend to cross streets at any point rather than at crosswalks where oncoming cars would anticipate them. Finally, the lack of defensive walking—what we all do without thinking much about it—goes out the window as drinks add up.
For those who do make it home and don’t remember if they walked or rode there on a unicorn, find out what happens physically when people black out.
Friends Don’t Let Friends Walk Drunk
A controversial SuperFreakonomics story suggested that friends don’t let friends walk drunk. They claimed that the data showed that a drunk walker “on a per-mile basis” was eight times more likely to die than a drunk driver. This angered many of their readers because they felt the authors were encouraging drunk driving as the safe alternative (with the tragic caveat being that you are likely to kill other people while drunk driving). On the contrary, the authors defended themselves by stressing that they were absolutely not condoning drunk driving, just using data to suggest how dangerous drunk walking was. They urge anyone who is drunk to get a cab.
We reinforce that notion and add that drunk driving can not only kill you and others, but comes with severe penalties and negative effects to your life if you are caught—not to mention what it means for the injured victims. If you have been hurt in a drunk driving accident, click here to contact a Miami car accident lawyer for a free case evaluation.
With today’s ubiquitous cell phone use, distracted walking in a sober state has become so prevalent that some cities are putting traffic indicators at curb height to catch the eye of those engrossed in their screen. According to a study by the Governors Highway Safety Association, while pedestrian deaths had declined between the 70s and the year 2000, they have risen several percentage points since 2009, likely due to cell phone use. On average these days, a pedestrian is killed every two hours.
“Petextrians” are walking zombies who wander into traffic causing their own deaths and traffic accidents for those who slam on brakes to avoid them. The same goes for people playing games with or seeking directions from their handheld devices and distracted drivers. Team these clueless behaviors up with alcohol use, and the results are very bad indeed.
No Choice but to Walk?
If you do have to slog home on foot, stop drinking, try to delay if possible, and check these tips for sobering up.