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Is walking home from the bar the safest choice after some drinks?

Maybe you went out to celebrate a friend’s promotion after work, or perhaps someone unexpectedly bought you an extra drink while you were at the bar. You feel tipsy enough that you know it isn’t safe to drive. If you are only a few blocks or a mile from your home, walking there could seem like the safest and smartest choice.

You know you shouldn’t get behind the wheel of your own vehicle after drinking, so deciding to walk seems like the smartest way to travel. Unfortunately, while you may reduce your risk of getting into a car crash or getting arrested, you might also put yourself at greater risk of getting into a pedestrian crash.

Alcohol is a common risk factor in pedestrian collisions

Alcohol doesn’t just affect your judgment at the wheel of a vehicle. It also affects the way you behave that even your motor function while walking somewhere. Those walking while drunk can stumble, fail to monitor their environments and make unpredictable decisions.

Alcohol in either the pedestrian or driver can impact someone’s safety when walking. According to information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 47% of all pedestrian fatalities involve alcohol impairment. Roughly one-third of all fatal pedestrian crashes involve a pedestrian who has had too much to drink. Another 17% involve drivers with high levels of alcohol in their bloodstream, and there’s some overlap between the two categories.

What is the best option for someone who has had too much to drink?

There’s a reason that many drunk driving awareness campaigns used to focus on the idea of a designated driver. Having someone you know who can take the keys to your car and drive you safely home may be your best option if you’ve over-indulged.

Barring that, asking someone you know is not under the influence to drop you off at home could also be a good choice. Using rideshare services or public transportation could also help you arrive home safely after you’ve had too much to drink.

Knowing what contributes to pedestrian crash risk can help keep you safer and can help you pursue justice if you get hurt by a driver who has had something to drink.