Pedestrian injuries and fatalities have steadily increased during recent years. Prior research showed an association between the number of neighbourhood alcohol stores and risk of pedestrian injury. However, it is unclear whether this was because alcohol stores were located in dense retail areas with already heavy pedestrian traffic, or whether alcohol stores pose a unique neighbourhood risk.
This study compared the number of pedestrian injuries that occur near alcohol stores to those that occur near similar retail stores that do not sell alcohol.
The presence of off-premise alcohol stores was linked to a higher number of pedestrian injuries, even when controlling for other types of retail stores. Specifically, each additional off-premise alcohol store in a neighbourhood was associated with a 12.3 per cent increase in the rate of neighbourhood pedestrian injuries, such as traffic accidents, falls etc.
These findings reinforce the importance of considering the impact of alcohol stores on health and safety issues. The authors suggested that their findings can inform policymaking related to liquor store licensing, zoning, and enforcement.