December 19, 2014

Have a safe journey home this festive season

Safe journey home

There have been many cases where pedestrians involved in road accidents have been found partly to blame, known as “contributory negligence” in legal terms, and it’s fair to say the influence of alcohol plays a big part at this time of year.

Lots of us enjoy office parties, or nights out with friends, to celebrate the festive season, with or without alcohol. Aside from the risk of drink-driving, it’s easy to get caught up in the fun and then find you’re unsteady on your feet when making your way home.

Alcohol can affect common sense and make pedestrians less aware of their surroundings, but many conscientious drivers won’t think they’re at fault if they’re involved in a collision with a reveller who happens to step out in front of their vehicle. While it’s rare for a pedestrian to be found more at fault than a driver, even where alcohol plays a significant part, both need to take their responsibilities seriously.

Simple ways to stay safe

  1. Enjoy alcohol responsibly; don’t drink so much you put your safety at risk particularly if you have to walk to a taxi rank or train station to get home even if it’s just a short distance. Try to stay with friends, don’t walk alone if you’re unsteady on your feet, and avoid larking about near roads, as your reaction times are likely to be considerably slower and you might not notice a hazard until it’s too late.
  2. If you’re a driver, and you see pedestrians at the roadside, slow down even if you are already within the speed limit and even if they don’t immediately pose a hazard. Remember they may be influenced by alcohol, so could be unpredictable. If you can’t avoid passing them, there are simple precautions you can take to be able to react quickly should the need arise.
  3.  Avoid road rage! Although a quick tap on the horn can alert someone at risk of stepping into the road, don’t be tempted to sound it repeatedly or drive aggressively to try to get someone out of the way, as this will just inflame a situation.
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