“Why didn’t they take the drunk driver instead?” It’s a question choked out through tears in hospitals across the country. A sober person’s life and the life of their family is changed forever, while the drunk driver only has a few bruises. Many cry out and ask why drunk drivers don’t get hurt.
The answer is a little more complex than you might expect.
What causes injuries in a car crash? It’s usually not the crash itself; the vehicle absorbs most of the blow. Rather, it’s the passengers’ bodies bouncing around the cabin as a result of the crash.
There are two collisions in every car accident. The first is when the outside of the car hits an object. The second is when the passengers, responding to the impact, crash against the inside of the car.
If passengers are stiff or bracing themselves at the time of the accident, they’re more likely to suffer serious injuries because they are resisting incoming force. This is the cause of many broken bones in car accidents, especially in the arms and legs.
An intoxicated person is limp; their muscles are relaxed, and their reaction times are slowed. Because of this, drunk drivers do not typically tense up during an accident. This means they’re creating less resistance. They don’t brace themselves or push against the cabin, which means they’re less likely to suffer serious injuries.
To be clear, this does not mean driving under the influence is safe. These accidents would not happen at all if both drivers were sober.
However, this knowledge could potentially help drivers suffer less serious injuries in a crash. Hypothetically, a driver who goes limp just before a car crash is much less likely to be hurt than someone who braces their feet on the floor and locks their elbows while clutching the steering wheel.
If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries in a drunk driving accident, you might have a case. If you’d like an experienced Riverdale auto accident attorney from Law Offices of Falanga & Chalker to evaluate your case, please don’t hesitate to send us an email or call (470) 450-1164.