Why Do Drunk People Survive Car Crashes More?

Why Do Drunk People Survive Car Crashes More?

There are seemingly never ending news stories involving the mug shot of a drunk driver mostly unharmed after getting in an accident. Meanwhile, their victims are left fighting for their lives, or worse, already dead. The perception from this is that somehow being drunk will protect you from sustaining injuries in the event of a car crash or some other trauma. As to why, the commonly held idea is that the more relaxed you are in your drunken stupor, the less likely you will be to get injured. As to why, the general idea often put forth is that you’ll bend and contort into whatever shape the accident puts you in without fighting it. Stiffening up prevents your ability to fold like a pretzel and makes all your inner bits tense. Thus, you snap like a twig, injuring yourself more readily and severely. But is any of this actually true? Are drunk drivers actually less likely to be injured than their vastly more responsible compatriots?

It turns out there are indeed many studies on the topic that show you have a greater chance of survival from trauma should alcohol be in your system. That said, other studies show overall mortality can be as much as 2-fold higher if you have alcohol on board. So, which is correct and is the whole floppy drunk thing actually protecting you?

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