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Monday, September 23, 2013

Walking While Intoxicated Is A Major Cause Of Pedestrian Deaths

Walking home after a few drinks may seem like a safer alternative to getting behind the wheel, however a new study released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that walking while intoxicated is a major cause of pedestrian deaths.

In 2011 alone, 35 percent of pedestrians killed had a BAC level above the legal limit for driving, which is .08 or higher. The largest age range of pedestrians killed is the 25-34 year old range, accounting for 50 percent of the alcohol related pedestrian fatalities. Overall, pedestrian deaths are up 3 percent from 2010.

In response to the increase in pedestrian deaths, the NHTSA has created the "Everyone Is A Pedestrian" campaign.

The following are safety tips for pedestrians from the NHTSA:
  • Be predictable. Follow the rules of the road and obey signs and signals. 
  • Walk on sidewalks whenever they are available. 
  • If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible. 
  • Keep alert at all times; don't be distracted by electronic devices that take your eyes (and ears) off the road. 
  • Cross streets at crosswalks or intersections whenever possible. This is where drivers expect pedestrians. 
Look for cars in all directions - including those turning left or right. 
  • If a crosswalk or intersection is not available, locate a well-lit area where you have the best view of traffic. Wait for a gap in traffic that allows you enough time to cross safely, and continue to watch for traffic as you cross.
  • Never assume a driver sees you. Make eye contact with drivers as they approach you to make sure you are seen.
  • Be visible at all times. Wear bright clothing during the day, and wear reflective materials or use a flashlight at night.
  • Watch for cars entering or exiting driveways, or backing up in parking lots.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs when walking; they impair your abilities and judgment too.

The following are safety tips for drivers from the NHTSA:
  • Look out for pedestrians everywhere, at all times. Safety is a shared responsibility. 
  • Use extra caution when driving in hard- to-see conditions, such as nighttime or in bad weather. 
  • Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or otherwise entering a crosswalk. 
  • Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and stop well back from the crosswalk to give other vehicles an opportunity to see the crossing pedestrians so they can stop too. 
  • Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. There may be people crossing that you can't see.
  • Never drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
  • Follow the speed limit, especially around people on the street.
  • Follow slower speed limits in school zones and in neighborhoods where there are children present.
  • Be extra cautious when backing up - pedestrians can move into your path.

Contact the St. Louis Personal Injury Attorneys of The Glassman Law Firm at 314-446-6000 if you or a loved one has been injured or killed as a result of a pedestrian accident.

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