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Drinking is risky, maybe more when walking than driving

If you like to imbibe chances are good you have found yourself in this situation. You're at a party in your San Antonio neighborhood. You walked to the fete. As the evening progresses, the alcohol flows and you're invited to have yet another. You say, why not. It's not like I'm driving.

Some might see this as responsible drinking since you won't be climbing behind the wheel of a vehicle and getting into any possible situation where you might be involved in a serious impaired driving accident that leaves you or someone else injured or dead. But there's data to suggest that by walking you could be at even greater risk of being killed.

That's the observation by a group of researchers with Alcoholic.org whose work got noticed by the online magazine Consumer Affairs.

The research team looked at information from the federal Fatality Analysis Reporting System with the objective of comparing the hazards of inebriated driving and walking. Not surprisingly, the data reveals that drunk drivers are killed in accidents more often than drunk pedestrians. But when broken down into percentages of deaths between the two groups, the numbers suggest drunk walkers are more likely to die.

The group's report offers several views as to why there's such a difference. Researchers say walking might prompt more drinking than if a person is expecting to drive. But considering that most of the deadly drunk pedestrian accidents happen in darker winter months, researchers say lighting seems to be a factor. There's also the issue that walkers, being more exposed than drivers, may suffer more serious injuries in accidents.

Regardless of the reasons, there is one other bit of data that is sobering. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, Texas is one of four states in the country that accounted for 43 percent of all pedestrian deaths in 2013.

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