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Research Indicates Walking Home Drunk May be as Dangerous as Drunk Driving

Posted in Drunk Driving on Wednesday, October 12, 2022.

Most of us understand that attempting to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is very unsafe. Even if you believe you’re able to drive without causing an accident, the fact remains that alcohol and drugs significantly increase your chances of harming yourself, harming others, or both.

Many responsible motorists (particularly those who live in relatively walkable cities, like Philadelphia, Lancaster, etc.) believe they’re making the smart choice when they decide to walk home instead of driving home after a night of heavy drinking.

This is an understandable attitude. It’s certainly true that opting to walk home instead of getting behind the wheel when you’re intoxicated can significantly reduce your odds of putting others in harm’s way. 

However, research has shown that, contrary to what many believe, in regard to one’s own personal safety, drunk walking may in fact be as dangerous as drunk driving.

Why You Shouldn’t Walk Home Drunk

According to data from the United States Department of Transportation, alcohol is found in the systems of more than one-third of pedestrians who lose their lives in accidents involving motor vehicles. On the other hand, data shows that, at least among younger drivers, the presence of alcohol in a victim’s body is becoming less common when a victim was the operator or passenger of a motor vehicle.

Drunk walking may seem logically safer than drunk driving. That said, when you consider the following potential scenarios, you may realize why drunk walking can easily result in a serious or even deadly accident:

  • You’re walking on the sidewalk or the side of the road while you’re intoxicated. Because you’re drunk, you struggle to walk a straight line. At some point, you accidentally stumble out into traffic, leaving an oncoming vehicle no time to stop before colliding with you.
  • Alcohol dulls your senses. You’re walking home drunk at night and think it’s safe to cross the street because you can’t clearly hear or see any oncoming vehicles. Thus, you cross at a time when oncoming traffic is actually closer than you realize.
  • You’re walking home while intoxicated enough to experience impaired judgment. Perhaps this causes you to rush through a crosswalk to impress your friends with your bravado. In your intoxicated state, you fail to realize just how close oncoming vehicles are.
  • You’re intoxicated to the point that you lose consciousness while walking home one night. Depending on where you are when this happens, you could easily be hurt in a pedestrian accident.

Those are just a few examples. Be aware, none of this is meant to suggest that, when given the choice between walking drunk and driving drunk, you should opt to drive. There are always other options. For instance, you can call a cab, schedule an Uber or Lyft, or take public transportation. Driving will endanger both yourself and others.

Unfortunately, even if you’re sober, it’s still possible to be harmed in a pedestrian accident one day due to the negligence of others. Review your case with a Philadelphia pedestrian accident attorney at Soloff & Zervanos, P.C. if this ever happens. We may be able to help you pursue compensation for your losses. Learn more by contacting us online or calling us at (215) 732-2260.