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Do drunk drivers survive accidents more often?

You may have heard it said that drunk drivers tend to live through deadly accidents more often than the people they hit. This is often attributed to numerous factors, including the fact that someone who is drunk may not be in complete control of his or her body, and therefore will be unable to stiffen up or brace for the impact, which actually helps survival rates.

However, despite how often this is repeated, the stats show that it is actually just a myth. Drunk drivers have higher fatality rates than those who are hit.

For instance, just take a look at the stats from 2013. There were 10,076 fatalities in accidents in which at least one of the two drivers was over the legal limit of 0.08 in terms of Blood Alcohol Concentration. A full 6,515 of these fatalities were the drunk drivers themselves, which is 65 percent of the total.

Another 1,567 of those who passed away were passengers in the cars with those drunk drivers. They accounted for 16 percent of the total. That means that roughly 80-81 percent of those who died in the accidents were driving drunk or riding with those who were.

Conversely, only 1,157 people who died were in other vehicles, for just 11 percent of the total, and 837 more were deemed to be nonoccupants, for 8 percent more. While many sober people were killed in these crashes, it's clear that they are not killed at a higher rate than those who are drunk.

If you've lost a loved one or been injured in an accident, even one that didn't involve alcohol, be sure you know your rights in Indiana.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "Alcohol-Impaired Driving," accessed July 03, 2015

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