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Why drunk drivers often suffer less harm than their victims

On Behalf of | Feb 19, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

If you’ve been injured in a crash caused by a drunk driver, your anger and frustration may be compounded if you learn that the drunk driver suffered only minor injuries – or maybe barely got a scratch. That’s not an uncommon occurrence, and there are reasons for it.

When unimpaired people know they’re going to crash — even if only a second before – they brace for impact. That’s the body’s natural reaction. They may also grab the steering wheel to try to make a quick move to avoid the other vehicle, slam on the brakes or even hit the accelerator to get out of the way and try to prevent a collision or at least minimize the impact. Meanwhile, their muscles have likely constricted as their bodies have tensed up. 

Deceleration injuries

When a collision occurs, those inside the vehicles suffer what are called “deceleration injuries” because the movement of their bodies quickly decelerates as the vehicle comes to a sudden and violent stop. If a person tenses up during this sudden deceleration and impact, they’re less able to absorb the energy, 

Meanwhile, someone who is intoxicated (or under the influence of a drug that slows their reactions) won’t tense up as much. If they don’t realize the crash is imminent, they likely won’t tense at all.

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a crash caused by a drunk driver, this could help explain why they could be much more serious that theirs are. Although there will likely be criminal consequences for that other driver, you have the right to seek compensation for your medical bills and other expenses and damages. Don’t settle for less than the maximum to which you’re entitled.