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The Dangers of Walking While Impaired in Portland

Most of us are aware of the risks of drunk driving and how it puts you and others on the road at risk. After a night out drinking, walking home may seem like a safer option. However, being under the influence increases the likelihood of pedestrian accidents in Portland and is just as if not more dangerous than getting behind the wheel. 

Walking While Impaired: Be Aware Of The Risks

Despite public safety campaigns to raise awareness and increased law enforcement efforts at apprehending drivers engaged in reckless behaviors that put pedestrians in jeopardy, pedestrian accidents continue to be a common problem. Residents and visitors are encouraged to take steps to protect themselves, which includes being aware of how pedestrian accidents often happen. 

According to studies by American Addiction Centers (, walking while impaired is a serious problem.  Alarming facts that many people are likely not aware of include: 

  • Roughly 44 percent of pedestrians killed in fatal accidents were under the influence at the time;
  • While the percentage of drunk driving accidents has steadily decreased over the past decade, accidents involving impaired pedestrians have risen;
  • Even relatively small amounts of alcohol increase risks: of pedestrians who were killed while walking under the influence, only one in three had a blood alcohol content (BAC) level that was over the legal limit. 

How Alcohol Increases Your Odds Of Being The Victim In A Pedestrian Accident

It is important to be aware of how alcohol impacts your system and the ways it can make pedestrian accidents more likely to happen. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that common effects even after just a few drinks include: 

  • Impaired Judgment: This makes you more likely to engage in dangerous behaviors, such as walking on major highways or in areas without sidewalks and crossing against traffic signals. 
  • Reduced Vision: This makes you less likely to see motor vehicles approaching, particularly at night, or to notice obstacles in the road. 
  • Lack of Coordination: This makes you less likely to walk safely and increases the likelihood of stumbling into the path of a vehicle. 
  • Slower Reaction Times: This makes you less likely to respond appropriately to threats you may face while walking, such as speeding drivers or those running red lights or other traffic signals. 

Relying on a friend to drive you or a ridesharing service is a far safer option after a night out drinking, However, be aware that even if you are under the influence, drivers can still be held responsible for injuries you suffer due to pedestrian accidents in Portland. 

Contact Us Today for Help

At the Johnston Law Firm P.C., we help you get the compensation you need to recover from pedestrian injuries. To request a consultation regarding your options in filing a claim, call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland pedestrian accident attorneys online today.


Marc Johnston

Lead Attorney at Johnston Law Firm, P.C.

Based in downtown Portland, Marc A. Johnston is the owner and managing attorney of the award-winning, internationally-known personal injury law firm, Johnston Law Firm, P.C. Marc's career has been dedicated to representing the injured and individuals who have been treated unfairly by an insurance company. His focus on trial law creates the backbone of the Johnston Law Firm — a firm that is ready to go the distance in seeking justice for its clients.