Most people might assume that when someone is hurt or killed in an accident involving alcohol, the driver was the one who was intoxicated. This is not always the case. There are thousands of accidents that occur across the country which involve intoxicated pedestrians. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 168 pedestrians were killed in New Jersey in 2014. This number was higher than each of the previous nine years. A large number of these pedestrians may have had alcohol in their systems at the time of the accident.
After a night of drinking, states NJ.com, people may think they’re making the safer choice by walking instead of driving. However, the effects of alcohol can cause a person to stumble, disregard traffic signals or misjudge the distance of oncoming traffic and wander into the road. Drivers may not realize the person walking on the sidewalk or on the shoulder is drunk until it’s too late.
How can intoxicated pedestrians pose a danger to those in vehicles? If a pedestrian suddenly walks or falls into the road in an oncoming car’s path, the driver may have to swerve or slam on the brakes to avoid hitting the person. Depending on weather or traffic conditions, this may cause an accident that injures those in the vehicle. New Year’s Day is coming up, which is known to be the most dangerous day of the year for pedestrians. Combined with snowy or icy roads and congested holiday traffic, encounters with intoxicated pedestrians may prove to be just as dangerous for vehicle occupants as they are for those on foot.