While we all understand the dangers of drinking and driving, how many people realize that drinking and walking is just as dangerous? So, if you’ve decided to leave the car at home and just celebrate locally this New Year’s Eve we’d like to bring you a cautionary tale.
According to trauma surgeon Dr. Thomas Esposito at Loyola University Health System “alcohol impairs your physical ability, period.”
A trauma surgeon for more than 25 years, Esposito has witnessed the tragic aftermath of drunkeness many times. A quarter of all pedestrian struck cases seen in his department, were found to have blood-alcohol concentrations at or above the accepted level for intoxication. In 2005, the journal Injury Prevention reported that New Year’s Day is more deadly for pedestrians than any other day of the year. From 1986 to 2002, 410 pedestrians were killed on New Year’s Day. 58% of those killed had high blood-alcohol concentrations.
“If they had been driving and were stopped by police, they would have been arrested for driving under the influence,” Esposito said.
And it’s not just walking outside. Working, as I do, in Emergency Medicine, I often see people who have fallen down the stairs or tripped and injured themselves after drinking. Others have unwisely chosen to mix alcohol with guns, knives, bottles and fists, invariably with tragic consequences.
To avoid becoming a 2011 statistic, SRXA’s Word in Health brings you the following tips:
- Don’t wear dark clothing that can make it difficult for drivers to see you
- Stay out of the road. Use sidewalks and cross at designated crosswalks
- Walk in a group, preferably with a designated chaperone or escort
Stay safe & have a Happy New Year. We look forward to welcoming you back in 2012.