As a pedestrian, you are more vulnerable on the road than people who are in vehicles. This means you must use extra caution when crossing roads and make yourself visible to drivers who may not see you.

While you may be aware of the dangers of drinking and driving, it may surprise you to learn that alcohol plays a part in many pedestrian accidents as well.

The facts on alcohol and pedestrian accidents

According to the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention, alcohol is a factor in nearly half of pedestrian fatalities resulting from an incident with a vehicle. Alcohol impairs judgment and slows down response time. As a pedestrian, this can mean the difference between life and death if your reflexes aren’t quick enough, or you can’t give adequate attention to your surroundings. One-third of all pedestrian crashes that resulted in the pedestrian’s death involved a blood alcohol concentration around 0.08 grams per deciliter or higher.

Safety tips for pedestrians

If you are going to have a few drinks, it is a better decision to walk than to drive. However, you should still be very conscious of the amount of alcohol you consume if you will be walking in an area where you will be crossing streets or near heavy traffic. Wear reflective gear so that drivers can better see you. Walk on the sidewalk when possible, but if you have to walk on the shoulder of the road make sure you walk facing traffic. Additionally, if you have consumed alcohol it is strongly advised not to wear earbuds so you can pay as must attention as possible to traffic conditions and vehicles.