Florida Pedestrian Accidents: Walking and Drinking Don’t Mix

by Carmen Dellutri on January 10, 2012

Fort Myers accident attorneyAs we noted last week, pedestrian fatalities rose 4.2% in 2010. At the same time, the number of people injured in pedestrian accidents rose an alarming 19%, to 70,000. The new figures came as surprise to safety officials because they follow several years of steady decline.

Some safety experts suggest that the rise in accidents could be attributed to pedestrian impairment. While we have all been warned about the dangers of drinking and the driving, walking and drinking does not receive the same attention.

However, as Florida personal injury attorneys, we think it should.

As detailed in a recent Sun Sentinel article, 32 percent of Florida pedestrian fatalities in 2010 involved a pedestrian who had been drinking. In accidents involving serious injuries, nearly 13 percent of pedestrians had been drinking.

"As a cyclist and walker, you're still transporting yourself," said Bret Baronak, the Palm Beach Metropolitan Planning Organization's bicycle and pedestrian coordinator. "You're still traveling through traffic … [clouded] judgment is a bad thing. It can lead to tragedy."

Statistics confirm the dangers of pedestrian alcohol impairment.  A 2008 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study found that a pedestrian is four times more likely to be killed if he had been drinking than if no alcohol were involved.

Most of these alcohol-involved pedestrian crashes occur at night in the early morning hours. While darkness play a part in many pedestrian crashes, alcohol certainly increases the risk.

"It's hard to judge the speed of a vehicle coming toward you at night," said Mark Horowitz, the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization's bicycle and pedestrian coordinator. "Add alcohol impairment on top of that, it makes it more difficult to judge how fast a car is traveling and how close they are.

"By the time they've made their decision, it's too late," Horowitz said. "A second or two can make a difference."

The Dellutri Law Group is focused on making bad situations better and putting lives back together. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Florida car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.

To learn more about your legal options, contact our experienced Florida injury attorneys for a free consultation.


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