Drunken pedestrians blame for significant number of car crashes: Australian study

MELBOURNE -- Drunken pedestrians and cyclists could be as dangerous as drunken drivers, an Australian study has found.

The study, released by Melbourne's Monash University on Friday, found that drunken pedestrians or cyclists were to blame for hundreds of collisions with cars and motorcyclists between the year of 2009 and 2014.

Of the incidents surveyed, some of the pedestrians had blood alcohol content (BAC) reading of up to 0.4, eight times the legal driving limit in Australia, while dozens were recorded between 0.1 and 0.3.

Biswadev Mitra, an emergency and trauma specialist at The Alfred Hospital, said that 20 percent of the 1,323 patients at the hospital between 2009 and 2014 who were injured in road accidents as a pedestrian or cyclist had alcohol in their system.

Mitra said the study was the first of its kind to estimate the impact of alcohol on Victorian cyclists and pedestrians who sustain injuries in car accidents and that the results from one hospital were likely to be the "tip of the iceberg."

He said she hoped the research would prompt a discussion over whether pedestrians and cyclists should be subject to the same alcohol laws as motorists.

"I think all road users should have similar laws applied to them," Mitra was quoted by Fairfax Media.

"This study highlights that pedestrians contribute to a large burden (of road trauma) so even if you're walking drunk on the road, you should be breath tested and told to get off the road."

[ Editor: zyq ]


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