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Had a Few Too Many Drinks? Think Twice Before Walking Home!

Everyone knows about the dangers of driving when your blood alcohol content (BAC) is over the legal limit. Alcohol consumption affects many vital physical and cognitive skills that come into play every moment that you’re behind the wheel. And the more you drink, the more pronounced those effects become.

Because of that, many people may attempt to walk to and from bars, restaurants, parties, and other events where alcohol is served to avoid the risks associated with driving under the influence, including accidents and DUI charges. But did you know that walking while intoxicated can also put you at serious risk?

The Intoxication Risks of Pedestrians

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded more than 7,000 fatal pedestrian accidents in 2020 alone, or about one every 75 minutes.

32% of those deaths involved a pedestrian who was legally intoxicated (at or above a blood alcohol content level of 0.08%). 13% of fatal pedestrian accidents involved an intoxicated driver. 

In addition to consuming alcohol, other factors can increase your risk of being in a pedestrian accident, including:

  • living in an urban area
  • walking or crossing the street in a non-intersection area
  • walking at night or in poorly lit areas
  • being distracted with headphones, cellphones, or other devices

Walking places is something we take for granted, especially in well-lit areas with sidewalks, crosswalks, and slow-moving traffic. But walking near traffic is still a dangerous activity that should never be taken for granted or lightly.

Just as you wouldn’t get behind the wheel after drinking, you also shouldn’t take off for home on foot after drinking. In addition to putting yourself at risk of getting a citation for public intoxication, it can also increase your risks of being involved in a fatal accident.

Why Walking Home While Drunk is Dangerous

Walking home after a night of drinking may seem like the responsible choice, but it’s important to understand that it’s not without its own set of hazards. Alcohol impairment can significantly impact a pedestrian’s safety in several ways:

  • Vision Impairment: Alcohol consumption can blur vision and reduce depth perception, making it challenging for pedestrians to see oncoming vehicles or accurately judge their distance and speed.
  • Poor Judgement: Alcohol affects cognitive functions, which may lead to reckless decisions like jaywalking, crossing against signals, or not looking both ways before crossing the street.
  • Lack of Coordination: Alcohol impairs balance and coordination, increasing the risk of tripping or stumbling off a curb and unintentionally stepping into traffic.

While it may seem counterintuitive, walking home drunk can be just as dangerous as drunk driving, posing a threat to the intoxicated pedestrian and other road users. It’s always best to arrange for a sober ride home, whether that’s a designated driver, taxi, or rideshare service, to ensure everyone’s safety on the road.

Brian Hodgkiss Can Help

At Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers, our Green Bay pedestrian accident attorneys know the risks that pedestrians face in Wisconsin. Do your best to stay safe, and if a negligent driver hurts you, we’re here to help. Contact us for a free consultation.

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