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Pedestrians warned: Don't drink and walk

More than one in seven pedestrians (14%) injured on UK roads in the last three years were under the influence of alcohol

Posted on 11 Dec 2014

  • New FOI data reveals a peak in ‘drunk walking’ injuries in December
  • Men account for more than three quarters (79%) of all drunk pedestrian road incidents3
  • Pedestrians aged under 25 were involved in more incidents than any other age group4
  • Drunk pedestrians are more at risk of injury on UK roads between the times of 22:00-23:595
  • Department of Transport figures reveal that more than 6,000 intoxicated pedestrians have been injured since 20111

We are all aware of the dangers of drink driving, but with Christmas nearly upon us and the party season well underway, Confused.com are warning pedestrians about the perils of ‘drunk walking’. 

New figures obtained by the leading price comparison site from the Department of Transport reveal that over 6,000 ‘drunk’ pedestrians have been injured on UK roads since 20111. And many of these ‘drunk walking’ accidents are happening over the Christmas period, as new FOI data obtained from 21 police constabularies across the UK reveals a peak in the number of injuries during the month of December2

According to this new FOI data, drunk pedestrians are most at risk of injury on UK roads between the times of 22:00-23:595, perhaps as a result of a long night of drinking. Worryingly, the FOI data also reveals that men are the most likely to drink-walk, with men accounting for more than three quarters (79%) of all drunk pedestrian road incidents3

The data also reveals nearly a third (30%) of all drunken pedestrian incidents involved people between the ages of 18-244, suggesting that the young are not taking enough care on the roads after consuming alcohol.

Research commissioned by Confused.com into the attitudes around drinking and pedestrian road safety also reveals that five in six people (83%) confess to having walked home while under the influence of alcohol, with just over one in five (21%) admitting to consuming eight drinks or more on a night out. 

After having one too many drinks, a third of drunk pedestrians (33%) admit to having walked down roads which were unlit; with nearly two thirds (62%) confessing that they’ve walked home alone when under the influence of alcohol. 

One in seven Brits (14%) admit that they have crossed roads without looking properly, when drunk, with a similar number (13%) confessing to having sat down on the side of the road when intoxicated. Worryingly, one in 10 Brits (10%) admit that they have fallen into a road when drunk. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, one in ten (10%) pedestrians say they have been hit or nearly hit by a car after drinking too much. Most incidents happen on busy streets (23%); outside pubs (19%); clubs (16%) and bars (14%). 

Drunken walkers are also putting motorists at risk, with nearly a third (31%) of drivers saying they had to swerve or brake in order to avoid hitting a pedestrian they suspected of being intoxicated, with more than one in 10 (12%) admitting to having actually knocked into a pedestrian that they believed to be drunk. Luckily though, more than a fifth of motorists (22%) would either stop their car or call the police if they saw a drunken person staggering in the road. 

Regional drunk pedestrian road injuries last year (2013):
 
1. Metropolitan Police: 158 injuries
2. Kent County Constabulary: 123 injuries
3. Glasgow City Council: 126 injuries
4. Northern Ireland: 64 injuries

Gemma Stanbury, Head of Motor Insurance at Confused.com, says: 
“We are already aware that being in charge of a motor vehicle when under the influence of alcohol can have a profound impact on road safety. If motorists are caught driving when under the influence of alcohol the repercussions can be severe, including driving bans, hefty fines and even prison sentences, as well as the  possibility of increased car insurance premium once they’re allowed back on the roads. 

“There is already much being done to raise awareness around the dangers of drink driving, but it is the responsibility of all road users – both motorists and pedestrians - to act responsibly when near or on the roads. Nobody wants to see anyone involved in a road accident, especially over the Christmas period, however the reality is that more people are out consuming alcohol over the festive season, leading to an unfortunate increase in the number of pedestrian casualties. 

“With Christmas and New Year on its way, British roads will see an influx of party goers emptying onto the streets after their night on the tiles. We are therefore urging pedestrians to take care this party season, plan their journey home and to think before drinking and walking.”

- ENDS -
Notes to Editors:

Unless otherwise stated, all figures are taken from omnibus research carried out by One Poll Research on behalf of Confused.com using an online poll of 2,000 nationally representative sample of UK adults, aged 18+. Conducted between 20th - 24th November 2014. 

1.Department of Transport Figures show there were 39,986 road accidents involving pedestrians from 2011-2013. Of these, 6,074 pedestrians were impaired by alcohol.  This equates to 14%. 


-2011 - https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/9280/rrcgb2011-- complete.pdf (76)

- 2012- https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/269601/rrcgb-2012-complete.pdf (pg 190)

- 2013- https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/359311/rrcgb-2013.pdf (201)

2.Confused.com issued Freedom of Information requests to all 45 Police Forces in England, Scotland and Wales. The FOI request asked Police Forces how many how many pedestrians died and/or suffered minor and/or major injuries as the result of a collision with a car due to the pedestrian being intoxicated by alcohol between the years of 2010-2013 with breakdown in age, gender, month, day and severity of injury. Of these 21 Police Constabularies provided monthly breakdowns with four constabularies (West Midlands, Warwickshire, Merseyside and Dorset) unable to separate pedestrians who were impaired by alcohol or drugs. According to these Police Figures there were 292 incidents in December out of 2717 incidents.

3.19 Police Constabularies provided gender breakdowns showing the number of male and female pedestrians in reported road accidents that were impaired by alcohol. Three constabularies (Warwickshire, Merseyside and Dorset) were unable to separate pedestrians who were impaired by alcohol or drugs. According to these Police figures from 2010-2013, there were 1,988 incidents with 1,577 male casualties and 390 female casualties. 

4.18 Police Constabularies provided age breakdowns for pedestrians in reported road accidents that were impaired by alcohol. Of these, one constabulary (Merseyside) were unable to separate pedestrians who were impaired by alcohol or drugs. According to these Police figures from 2010-2013 there were 1,758casualties with 525 casualties between the ages of 18-24yo. 

5.10 Police Constabularies provided time breakdowns. Of these three constabularies (Warwickshire, West Midlands and Dorset) were unable to separate pedestrians who were impaired by alcohol or drugs. According to these Police figures from 2010-2013 there were 1026 casualties with 178 of these occurring between 22.00-23.59.



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About Confused.com

Confused.com is one of the UK’s biggest and most popular price comparison services. 
Confused.com was the UK's first price comparison site for car insurance. Launched in 2002, it generates over one million quotes per month. It has expanded its range of comparison products over the last couple of years to include home insurance, holiday insurance, pet insurance, small van insurance, motorcycle insurance, breakdown cover and gas and electricity, as well as financial services products including credit cards, loans, mortgages and life insurance.

Confused.com is not a supplier, insurance company or broker. It provides an, objective and unbiased comparison service. 
By using cutting-edge technology, it has developed a series of intelligent web-based solutions that evaluate a number of risk factors to help customers with their decision-making, subsequently finding them great deals on a wide-range of insurance products, financial services, utilities and more. Confused.com’s service is based on the most up-to-date information provided by UK suppliers and industry regulators. 

Confused.com is owned by the Admiral Group plc. Admiral listed on the London Stock Exchange in September 2004. Confused.com is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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