Dead Men Walking? New Year’s Day Most Deadly for Pedestrians

On behalf of Brown & Crouppen, P.C. on Monday, December 31, 2012

New Years Day is synonymous with champagne, revelry, and drinking and driving. Massive efforts have been made to reduce highway fatalities on New Year’s Eve, by using designated drivers and numerous other campaigns to keep drunken drivers from causing car accidents after the party.

While drunken driving has dominated much attention of the media and public, a related issue is slowly gaining awareness, that of accidents and fatalities caused by impaired pedestrians.

New Year’s Day is more deadly for pedestrians than any other day of the year according to a 2005 report from the journal Injury Prevention. They looked at fatal pedestrian accidents between 1986 and 2002 and found 410 pedestrians were killed on New Year’s Day. Alcohol plays a role in more than half of those fatalities, with fifty-eight percent having high blood-alcohol concentrations (BAC).

The Claims Journal quotes a doctor from Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine as saying, “Every movement ranging from driving a car to simply walking to the bathroom is compromised,” He added, “Alcohol impairs your judgment, reflexes and coordination. Alcohol is nothing more than a socially acceptable, over-the-counter stimulant/depressant and, especially during the holidays, alcohol is frequently abused.”

This means even walking home from that New Year’s party is risky if you have been heavily drinking. It also means if you are a designated driver leaving New Year’s festivities, extra caution is necessary and you need to be on the alert for drunk drivers and drunken pedestrians.

Source: Claims Journal, “New Year’s Day Is Tops For Pedestrian Deaths,” December 31, 2012

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