Tags: US | Pedestrian | Deaths | Alcohol

Drunk Walking Leads to Pedestrian Fatalities

Tuesday, 06 Aug 2013 07:45 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

Just as drinking and driving can be deadly, so can drinking and walking. Over a third of the pedestrians killed in 2011 had blood alcohol levels above the legal limit for driving, according to government data released Monday.

Thirty-five percent of those killed, or 1,547 pedestrians, had blood alcohol content levels of .08 or higher, the legal limit for driving, according to data reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration by state highway departments.

Among the 625 pedestrians aged 25- to 34-years-old who were killed, half were alcohol impaired. Just under half the pedestrians killed who were in their early 20s and their mid-30s to mid-50s were also impaired. Only among pedestrians age 55 or older or younger than age 20 was the share of those killed a third or less.

By comparison, 13 percent of drivers involved in crashes in which pedestrians were killed were over the .08 limit.

Overall, about a third of traffic fatalities in 2011 — 31 percent, or 9,878 deaths — were attributable to crashes involving a driver with a BAC of .08 or higher.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx released the data as he kicked off a new effort to reduce pedestrian deaths. There were 4,432 pedestrian fatalities in 2011, the latest year for which data is available. That was up 3 percent from the previous year.

Jonathan Adkins, a spokesman for the Governors Highway Safety Association, which represents state highway safety offices, said anti-drunk driving campaigns may be encouraging more people to walk home after a night of drinking.

"What it (the data) says to us is that nationally we've done a good job of educating people about the dangers of drunk driving, but we haven't done such a good job of reminding them that other drunk behavior, including walking, can be just as dangerous," Adkins said.

Alcohol can impair pedestrians' judgment and lead them to make bad decisions, like crossing a road in the wrong place, crossing is against the light, or "trying to beat a bus that's coming," he said.

"We're starting to see this with bicycles as well in cities that have bike share programs," he said. "People wanting to do the right thing that had too much at happy hour and they jump on a bike."

There is no data on an increase in alcohol-impaired bicycle fatalities, but there has been discussion at safety conferences around the country about what appears to be the beginning of a trend, Adkins said.

"Bicyclists are a small number of fatalities anyway," he said. "But it makes sense. For the same reason there are drunk pedestrians, you're going to see drunk bicyclists. You can be alcohol impaired with just a few drinks. It's not that you're sloppy drunk and falling over, it is just that you're above .08."

Safety advocates have been warning for several years that they're also seeing more cases of distracted walking. Several studies show that people who are talking on their cellphones while walking make more mistakes.

"We've done a good job alerting people to the dangers of being a distracted driver, but we haven't done a good job of alerting people to the dangers of being a distracted pedestrian," Adkins said.


© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Judge Overturns Mississippi Same-sex Marriage Ban

Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014 21:52 PM

A federal judge has overturned Mississippi's ban on same-sex marriage, but he is putting his order on hold for two weeks . . .

Judge Rules Arkansas Ban on Same-Sex Marriage Is Unconstitutional

Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014 20:45 PM

A U.S. district judge ruled on Tuesday that an Arkansas constitutional amendment defining marriage as being only the uni . . .

Obamacare Architect to Testify on ACA's 'Deceptions'

Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014 20:12 PM

Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber, whose comments citing the healthcare law's lack of transparency and mocking "the st . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved