By now we all know that driving while intoxicated is a bad thing; with so many safety campaigns on the topic, it’s hard not to. However, recent statistics show that drinking and walking can be extremely hazardous as well. Numbers from 2011 (the most recent available), show that over one-third of all pedestrians killed during that year had blood alcohol levels above the legal driving limit. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that of the 625 pedestrian victims ages 25-34, half were alcohol impaired. As the Governors Highway Safety Association points out, the data says that nationally we’ve done a good job educating people about the dangers of drunk driving, but we haven’t done such a good job of reminding them that doing various other activities while intoxicated, including walking, can be just as dangerous.
The bottom line is that alcohol consumption hinders cognitive function, and that is true whether you are behind the wheel or on your feet. This makes people less able to judge and react to their surroundings, making them more likely to cross a road in the wrong place, or try to run across the street to beat an approaching vehicle. Additionally, most working men and women are only able to go to the bar, or venture out for drinks afterhours, making lack of visibility a potentially dangerous factor. (USA Today)
Intoxicated or not, pedestrian accidents kill nearly 5,000 people a year, and injure 70,000 more. That averages out to 12 fatalities a year, and an injury every 8 minutes. It is extremely important, especially in bustling urban areas like Chicago, to be attentive and mindful of your surroundings when you walk. If you are going to drink, even if you are walking home, remember to watch out for yourself and your friends. Cross streets with the light, and avoid taking unnecessary risks that could put you in danger. (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)
By using the proper caution, pedestrians can significantly reduce their chances of being involved in an accident, but in some unfortunate cases, accidents are unavoidable. Our lawyers have a wealth of experience dealing with pedestrian accident lawsuits, and we know the correct steps to take in order to get our clients the compensation they deserve. In one such t case, our attorneys represented a 50-year-old woman who was struck by a bus while using a crosswalk. The vehicle not only hit our client, it also rolled over her body, causing our client to suffer multiple pelvic, rib, and spinal fractures. Our attorneys took on the suit and recovered a $1.25 million settlement, allowing the woman to pay her medical bills and be compensated for the trauma that she suffered.
Remember to always consume alcohol in moderation and act responsibly, whether you are in your car or walking around town, this will make yourself and everyone around you a little bit safer. However, if you find yourself the victim of a pedestrian car accident, know that our lawyers are here to help you.