Drink walking

We all know the dangers of drinking and driving, but what about drinking and then walking? Alcohol can impair decision making and delay reaction times, making crossing the road a dangerous task. You don’t need to be walking all the way home for drink walking to be risky – even moving between venues or walking to your ride home can be risky if you aren’t careful. So, if you’re out drinking, take care near the road.

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The dangers of drink walking

The Reality

In the past 18 months, the number of pedestrians dying on our roads has seen a marked increase. More than 1 in 3 of the pedestrians killed had been drinking. You don’t need to be drunk to be in danger, just a couple of drinks is enough to make your decision making a little fuzzy.

The Risks

Alcohol can impair our ability to judge distances, makes us less steady on our feet and delay our reaction times. It can even affect our concentration, and makes us more easily distracted by phones and friends. This means you’re at much greater risk near the road after drinking.

Stick with your mates

One of the best ways to stay safe when heading out for a couple of drinks, is by looking out for each other and keeping your focus when crossing the road. If one of your mates is obviously intoxicated, make sure you stick with them until they’ve found a safe ride home. Or, you could let them crash at your place, or a Mates Motel.

6 tips to get home safely

Sketch of a man with a lightbulb above his head

Pre-plan your way home – your ‘Plan B' instead of driving or walking all the way home. Organise a dry driver, a lift from friends or family or put aside some cash for a taxi/ride-share.

Sketch of red traffic light with clouds behind it

Cross at traffic lights, only when the green man is showing. Jaywalking or trying to beat oncoming traffic is never a good idea.

Sketch of a car on the road and a person next to it walking along the sidewalk

Make sure you’re walking safely on the footpath, not too close to the edge of the pavement or on the roadside.

Sketch of a phone in someones hand with a red no-sign in the center of it

Put your phone away when you’re walking so your full attention is on the road.

Sketch of two men walking side by side with one of them having their arm on the others shoulder

Mates help mates get home safely. Don’t blindly lead or follow mates across the road. Always pay attention and watch where you cross.

Sketch of a battery symbol showing the charge at about 70 percent

Fully charge your phone before you head out. That way you can easily organise a taxi/ride-share/lift when you need to head home.

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How does alcohol affect you?

Walking isn’t the only thing that alcohol can affect. It’s important to think about what role alcohol plays in your life. Do the quiz to find out more.

Where to next?

Explore these popular road safety topics on StreetSmarts.

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