The impact of alcohol in pedestrian trauma

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From Trauma

Alcohol-related injuries represent a significant global health burden. While much has been done to raise public awareness and decrease drunk-driving rates in many parts of the world, alcohol use by both drivers and vulnerable roadway users continues to play a notorious role in traffic safety and impedes the success of injury prevention efforts. There is a high prevalence of alcohol use among pedestrians who are struck by motor vehicles, especially in collisions involving pedestrian fatalities. This article considers the high prevalence of alcohol use among pedestrians who are struck by motor vehicles, especially in collisions involving pedestrian fatalities. Alcohol use by pedestrians impairs judgment and coordination leading to risky street-crossing behaviors. Pedestrians who are drunk sustain more severe injuries, require more imaging, encounter more complications, and require longer hospital LOS. The prevention focus should evolve from strategies focusing primarily on motor vehicle occupants to ones that target the vulnerabilities and distractions of pedestrians and which emphasize a safe co-existence within their shared environment.

Abstract

Across the globe, alcohol plays a major role in traffic-related injuries. It impairs the motor and cognitive coordination of drivers leading to motor vehicle collisions, which severely or fatally injure individuals across cultures and socioeconomic spectra. Although most public health initiatives have focused on driver intoxication, there is a high prevalence of alcohol use among pedestrians who are struck by motor vehicles, especially in collisions involving pedestrian fatalities. Alcohol use by pedestrians impairs judgment and coordination leading to risky street-crossing behaviors. Intoxication influences medical management by disrupting the reliability of the physical examination often necessitating expensive imaging modalities to rule out injuries. Alcohol abuse continues to impede traffic safety injury prevention efforts. This article reviews alcohol’s notorious role in traffic safety and pedestrian trauma.

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Article details
Dultz, L., & Frangos, S. (2012). The impact of alcohol in pedestrian trauma Trauma DOI: 10.1177/1460408612464019

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