Choosing not to drink and drive is a responsible decision that shows a commitment to the safety of yourself and others. However, pedestrians aren’t free from danger, especially when walking home after having enjoyed alcoholic beverages.
Understanding the risks of being hit by a car when walking while intoxicated and making alternative arrangements to get home can help you protect your safety and prevent a traumatizing accident for motorists.
The Hidden Dangers of Walking Home Drunk
While it’s admirable not to drink and drive, walking home under the influence presents several dangers for pedestrians. Intoxicated pedestrians often make unpredictable decisions after drinking, increasing the risk of injury or death when walking near busy intersections and roadways.
The following factors make it dangerous to walk home rather than take a safer alternative:
- Impaired judgment: Intoxication can lead to reckless decisions. A drunk person may be more likely to cross against the light or stray outside designated crosswalks, putting themselves at risk.
- Diminished visibility: Many individuals walk home late at night after drinking. This means they’re navigating the streets when it’s dark, making it more difficult for drivers to spot them and increasing the risk of accidents. In 2021, 77% of pedestrian fatalities occurred in the dark, according to the NHTSA.
- Unsteady on their feet: Alcohol affects pedestrians’ balance and coordination. Walking while intoxicated means they are more prone to stumbling, tripping, or inadvertently falling into the path of oncoming traffic.
- More likely to encounter intoxicated drivers: Drunk driving incidents often occur late at night on weekends, making pedestrians more likely to encounter a drunk driver on the road. In Florida, 248 pedestrians lost their lives in 2021 in accidents involving the confirmed use of drugs or alcohol.
The combination of an intoxicated pedestrian and driver increases the chances of a tragic encounter, as neither party might be fully aware of their surroundings or able to react appropriately to avoid a collision.
Potential Danger to Others
Intoxicated pedestrians not only endanger themselves but can inadvertently pose risks to others. A sudden and unpredictable move by a drunk pedestrian can force a driver into a hazardous maneuver. For example, a drunk pedestrian may suddenly step into the road, forcing a driver to swerve to avoid them. This can cause accidents involving other vehicles or bystanders, resulting in additional injuries or fatalities.
Drivers involved in a pedestrian collision may suffer psychological damage, causing anxiety, guilt, or trauma. The emotional impact may be worse if the driver followed all traffic laws and acted with due caution when the pedestrian stumbled into the road unexpectedly.
Safe Alternatives to Walking Home Drunk
If you plan to head out for a fun evening involving alcohol, protect yourself and others by planning a safe way to get home. Alternatives to driving or walking home while intoxicated can include:
- Designated drivers: Enlist a sober friend as your designated driver before heading out. DDs ensure a dependable, alcohol-free ride home, guaranteeing your safety and peace of mind.
- Rideshare Services: Services like Uber and Lyft have transformed safe transportation options after a night on the town. With just a few taps on your smartphone, you can summon a sober driver to pick you up, regardless of the hour.
- Public transit: In Florida, public transportation is a reliable, cost-effective alternative to rideshare services or taxis. Buses and trolleys may offer scheduled routes in your area, making it easy to find a way home, even late at night.
- Walk in groups: If walking is your preferred choice, do so in the company of friends. There’s safety in numbers, and you can look out for one another during the journey.
- Plan ahead: Plan your transportation before you start drinking. Leave your car at home, ensure you have access to alternative transportation, and have the necessary information or apps ready on your phone.
Make Good Choices Even After Accidents
Even if you are careful and use safe transportation, you may be injured in a pedestrian accident in Florida. If you are hit by a car as a pedestrian, a Florida injury lawyer can help you receive the compensation you deserve.
At Aigen Injury Law, we actively encourage you to make good choices, but we are also here to provide legal advice and representation after an accident. Contact Aigen Injury Law today if you need help with your case.