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Alcohol factor in more than one-third of pedestrian fatalities

In recent history, state and federal agencies have spent billions of dollars on anti-drunk driving education and campaigns. Today, Americans are well aware of the safety and legal implications of drinking and driving. While the dangers associated with drunk driving continue to be well-documented and studied, newly released statics show that drinking and walking is also often a deadly combination.

According to U.S. Transportation Sec. Anthony Foxx, during 2011 more than one-third of pedestrians killed in pedestrian and car accidents registered BAC levels of .08 or higher. Pedestrian fatalities where alcohol was believed to be a factor were highest among those individuals ages 25 to 34 years old.

The growing number of alcohol-related pedestrian deaths has prompted state and federal agencies to investigate ways to reduce pedestrian deaths. Ironically, many pedestrian deaths may be occurring because individuals that have been drinking decide to walk home rather than drive.

Drinking alcohol impairs an individual's senses and ability to both reason and react. Pedestrians who have been drinking often fail to follow basic safety rules and fail to use crosswalks when attempting to cross streets. Additionally, drunk pedestrians may fail to see or correctly gauge the speed of approaching vehicles until it's too late.

Connecticut residents who have been adversely impacted by a drunk driving or pedestrian accident may choose to take legal action. In many cases, injuries sustained in such accidents result in both physical and financial burdens related to medical expenses, lost wages and permanent and debilitating injuries and medical conditions.

Source: CTV News, "One a third of U.S. pedestrians killed in 2011 had high alcohol levels," Associated Press, Aug. 5, 2013

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