You hear the message “Don’t drink and drive” all the time, but how about “Don’t drink and walk”?
In 2008, nearly 40 per cent of pedestrians killed on Canadian roads were impaired, with two-thirds of them having a blood alcohol concentration more than double the legal limit. In fact, of all the fatally injured pedestrians with alcohol in their systems, fewer than one in five was at or below the legal driving limit of 0.08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC), according to the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators* (CCMTA).
These statistics may actually underestimate the problem of impaired pedestrian fatalities since many fatally injured pedestrians aren’t tested for alcohol. In Canada, for example, of the 365 pedestrians killed on our roads in 2008, 209 of them (or 57.3 per cent of the total) were able to be tested for the presence of alcohol.
Walking is definitely encouraged, but if you are going to be having a few or more drinks, here is some safety advice:
- Wear brighter clothing so cars are able to see you. By wearing darker clothes you blend into your surroundings, makes it virtually impossible for drivers to see you.
- Pay attention to the cars around you. Be sure that driver’s see you before crossing the street, even if it’s at an intersection.
- Don’t jaywalk; always cross at intersections.
- Stick to the buddy system; don’t walk alone when you are impaired.
- Take a cab, or arrange for another method of transportation if walking home becomes too risky, i.e., you are not able to walk in a straight line.
- Don’t walk in a snowstorm or heavy rainfall. Drivers have a hard enough time seeing, and may not see a pedestrian close to the road.
Drivers should also be aware, especially during nighttime hours, and in areas where restaurants and bars are located. Impaired pedestrians may be unpredictable, and come out between parked cars, or from other unexpected areas.
Information taken from the Canada Safety Council article dated April 8, 2011. To read the full article go to: http://safety-council.org/news/archives/impaired-walking/
Written By: Pat Olson