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More Than One-Third of Pedestrians Killed in 2011 Were Drunk: Government Report

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A new government report shows 37 percent of U.S. pedestrians killed in 2011 were drunk, USA Today reports. Thirty-five percent of those killed—1,547 people—had blood alcohol levels that were at or above the legal limit for driving.

The report, by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), found among the 625 pedestrians ages 25 to 34 who were killed, half were impaired by alcohol.

Jonathan Adkins, a spokesman for the Governors Highway Safety Association, told the newspaper campaigns to reduce drunk driving may be having an unintended effect, by encouraging more drunk people to walk home. A person impaired by alcohol can make bad decisions, such as crossing against the light, or “trying to beat a bus that’s coming,” he said.

The NHTSA announced it is making $2 million in pedestrian safety grants available to cities with the highest rate of pedestrian deaths. It is launching a website, with the Federal Highway Administration, that provides safety tips and resources for improving pedestrian safety.

3 Responses to this article

  1. Avatar of Ian Mitchell
    Ian Mitchell / August 6, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    Alcohol is the most dangerous drug on the road according to the latest study (Accident Analysis and Prevention – Hels, et al, Oct 2013). People who have a alcohol level greater between 0.08 and 0.12 were 16 times more likely to be in an accident, 77 times if the BAC>0.12 Seems like this risk also extends to walking while intoxicated.

  2. Avatar of bartender 74464
    bartender 74464 / August 6, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    I am so tired of people using the definition of too impaired for driving as the the definition of “drunk”. They are not the same thing and to imply that someone with a blood alcohol level of .08 is too intoxicated to walk is ridiculous. The only way to apporoach this topic is with facts rather than antecdotes about jaywalking for which there is no evidence.

  3. Doug / August 26, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    .08% is the minimum BAC it takes to join this special club, not the maximum, not the average. When they stumble out of the bar after being over-served they belong to the cops and the EMTs at OUR expense. Yes, I also hold the drinker accountable for his or her choice to frequent a place designed to encourage intoxication. I live in a resort town where overserving is a lifestyle for many bartenders who are more concerned with their profits than with others’ losses.

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