Author Topic: Why is it never the drunk driver who gets injured or killed?  (Read 5319 times)

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Offline Emily

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::bit of a rant::

Where I live drunk driving is a major problem. Well, it's pretty much a major problem everywhere because the minute someone gets into their car after having a few drinks puts everyone on the road in danger. However on Thursday in an 18 hour period there were three hit and runs. Here's the headline from today's Sunday paper[1]Also, last year a very popular doctor in the area killed an 18 year old girl, fled, turned himself in hours later and is now charged with DWI, vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run (and on Thursday a juror in the case got dismissed because he hit a telephone pull while drunk)

A lot of people say, "why is it never the driver that gets injured?". And honestly it kind of seems true. On on hand a pedestrian will never win against a car, but on the other hand it seems like the drunk driver, even when in an accident with another vehicle, is never injured, or only has a few bumps when compared to the driver he hit.

So could someone help me find some statistics where the drunk driver is the only who's injured the most, compared to the driver he or she struck. I've searched the Internet but only find stats showing fatalities and injuries which can include both the drunk driver and the innocent victim.

What I am curious about is why is it never the driver, and honestly it seems like it must be sometimes. I'm wondering what the percentage is. A drunk driver getting severely injured probably wont make the headlines as much as an innocent person getting injured or killed because of a drunk driver, but I am wondering if there are some stats floating around the Interwebz showing the percentage of drunk drivers who have been killed or injured because they drove drunk.[2]

Thanks,

-Emilie  :)

Sorry if this is a bit of a rant and an pointless topic. Just a bit emotional and in all seriousness when I read the papers about innocent people who have died because of a drunk driver I do shed some tears. There is nothing wrong with drinking as long as it's done responsibly. When my husband and I have parties he has gotten to the point of locking everyone's keys in a safe to avoid them driving drunk. It's sad that DWI
is such a problem. What's even sadder is that innocent peoples' lives are changed because of some douche bag's stupid decision.
 1. http://www.buffalonews.com/city/communities/buffalo/article843761.ece
 2. Perhaps also victimizing the sober person who killed or injured him because that sober person has to live with knowing someone has died in an accident he was involved it, while he has no fault. IDK: If I were to be in an accident where someone died it would be a lot to bear even if it was just an accident.
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Offline One Above All

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Re: Why is it never the drunk driver who gets injured or killed?
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2012, 06:06:52 AM »
BM
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Offline Seppuku

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Re: Why is it never the drunk driver who gets injured or killed?
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2012, 06:33:27 AM »
Glad to see I'm not the only one to have these kind of rants. Of course, I don't just apply it to drunk drivers but also include careless and generally bad drivers. We hear similar stories in the local news. In fact a few years back an 18 year old girl was killed by a drunk driver on Christmas eve - there was a party on the high street and a drunk driver just sped down. It's disgusting. Not only that, he barely served a prison sentence. Another case, a car stopped to let a kid cross the road, the car behind him over took that car at a high speed and the kid didn't have the chance. Now there's a crossing on that road (as there's a football club on the other side it's quite a popular road to cross). Then there's another Christmas Eve story (because there's always a Christmas miracle!) where a truck driver misjudged a turn and crushed a car contain a family of 2 parents and 3 children. Nobody in that car survived, I don't remember of the truck driver actually survived. These stories prop up in our local media every so often.

On a lighter note, one of my school bullies got drunk, stole a taxi and crashed into a ditch, he didn't die, but nobody else got hurt (the taxi driver was probably shook up from being threatened with a knife) and he got 3 years in prison. Serves the wanker right.

Unfortunately, I don't have any statistics, but I'd be interested too.
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Offline JeffPT

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Re: Why is it never the drunk driver who gets injured or killed?
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2012, 06:36:11 AM »
The reasoning I have always heard is that a drunk driver doesn't usually see it coming.  So when they impact something, their bodies are flaccid and they don't tense their muscles for impact.  This allows them to absorb the forces they are exposed to and disperse them more effectively than if they tense everything up. 

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Offline Historicity

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Re: Why is it never the drunk driver who gets injured or killed?
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2012, 07:36:39 AM »
Here's a funny story about a drunk driving accident.

When I was in the Army I and a friend occasionally would go to the MP station on our very little base and chat with the officer.  When he quit the Army he was going to become an accident investigator.  One evening after we asked how things were going he said he had investigated 2 rollover accidents on a major post nearby.

In one of them the driver was an old guy -- somebody around 50.  They didn't have seat belts in those days and he had gone thru the windshield.  They arrived and he picked himself up.  He could barely talk more from the drinking than injury.  They couldn't get his name, he had no license with him and when they asked him where he came from he turned and tried to walk off in that direction.  He did not seem to know that he was under arrest or that an ambulance was coming for him.

Then one of the MPs stood in front of the upside down car and wrote down the license plate number saying it out loud as he did so.  "Wait a minute", said the other who was behind the car.  The license plates had 2 different numbers.  Looking closely they found the front plate was last year's.

It did not belong to the drunk and it had not been reported stolen.  The car was registered to some girl about 20 and they drove to her house to inform and inquire[1].  The girl was spacey.  She had lent the car to a girlfriend and had no idea who the old man (about 50) could be.

This was in California in the 1960s.  That may help you to understand it.

In conclusion, it's because the drunk lands loose.  Ironically that has another effect.  One of the best ways to survive a fall from a building is to fall off the building in a suicide attempt.  Once a suicide's feet leave solid support he has left the world's troubles behind.  He relaxes serenely as he falls, having solved his problems.  So the person who least wants to survive the fall is the person who is most likely to.

 
 1. The US Army style manual demands the word is "inquire", not "enquire" and also dictates its own spelling "incircle" instead of "encircle".  As the saying goes, "There's a right way, a wrong way, and the Army way."

Offline Chronos

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Re: Why is it never the drunk driver who gets injured or killed?
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2012, 09:22:24 AM »
Plenty of drunk drivers die in accidents. You only hear about the drunk drivers who survive when others die because it seems unjust -- the drunk driver is guilty of being drunk but is alive, and the others were innocent of being drunk but are dead. Criminal charges follow, news stories are written or broadcast and the situation gets drawn out.

The statistics you are looking for are going to be difficult to find as I don't think they are kept, at least not directly. You might be able to deduce them from other stats that are kept. The police record information about accidents as required by law. Since a state can take action against a driver who drove drunk (wether the driver caused an accident or not), the state is only concerned with those who survive for there are no criminal actions to take against dead people. The state will determine if the deceased driver was drunk because the state requires an accurate cause of death to be recorded on a death certificate. So, again, you don't hear much about a dead drunk driver after an accident. They aren't all that newsworthy. Their stories are relegated to youthful driver programs to discourage this behavior in teens.

Once a drunk driver is dead, the only thing that really happens afterward is whether the survivors, or the families of the recently deceased, wish to sue the estate of the drunk driver who is now dead. That is a matter of equity in a civil court instead of a case in a criminal court. More often than not, the drunk drivers don't have a lot to sue for, or they already have a family and it would seem vengeful against the surviving family members to take away money from the living for the dead, and some people just don't realize that they can sue dead people.


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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Why is it never the drunk driver who gets injured or killed?
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2012, 09:42:59 AM »
As Chronos said, they do die, but when they don't we can't help but notice and respond to the injustice a little bit angrier.

I try to make sure that all my flaws as a human are harmless. Drunk drivers don't. The selfishness involved in deliberately ignoring reality, via blatant disregard or plain old denial, is tragic. We don't punish drunk drivers enough. I like the Finnish approach. For your first offense you get fined a huge portion of your annual income. The owner of Nokia got caught and paid a fine of many millions of dollars. I think he gets prison time if he does it again.

Until the 70's, drunk driving was worthy of jokes on late night television and such. Everybody laughed about it all the time. But we have slowly (too slowly, of course) altered that image. But there are still holdouts and idiots, so it's hard to stop.

I think there should be a mandatory jail sentence for first time offenders (one year), higher of course if they do damage or harm or kill. Sadly, with our prison system already burgeoning from drugs, I don't quite know how we would go about doing this. Maybe we could have separate prisons for them (since most of them are not otherwise criminal), and one of their jobs as prisoners would be to go out to the scene of fatal car crashes and help clean up the mess, including helping to pull the bodies out of the mangled cars. That might help cure them.

Or just shoot 'em.

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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Why is it never the drunk driver who gets injured or killed?
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2012, 10:33:13 AM »
Quote
Why is it never the drunk driver who gets injured or killed?

If a drunk driver gets killed, then, although the autopsy may reveal the blood-alcohol level, nothing more is done as there is nobody to prosecute.

In reports of DUI, only the perp's alcohol level is shown, not the victim's.

I don't know what the consent laws are in the US, but if you are in a coma, it may not be legally possible to take a sample, or the doctor will refuse to do it without consent of the subject.

Drunk-driving statistics are usually kept so as to include all injured regardless of alcohol content. This is a method of presentation that then gives the impression that the numbers are high.

The figures are thus skewed. They are not kept so as to be "an interesting piece of information." They are kept for use in anti drink-drive campaigns and to inform the police as to where and when they can best deploy officers.

In the UK, drunk pedestrians are not scientifically tested, so their blood-alcohol levels are never shown or known. However, a casual view of near-misses on Friday and Saturday evenings in the towns pub and club area show that the numbers are probably significant.

There is also a group of drivers who are both victims and drunks.

On top of all this, "drunk" is subjective. A friend took part in an experiment years ago run by RoSPA, The Royal Society for The Prevention of Accidents.

The idea was to drive a car (on an airfield) through a set of obstacles and then reverse park it. In the course, at some stage, a dummy was thrown into the road - you had to brake/avoid it. After each run you were given a double brandy (or an equivalent amount of alcohol.) His very good score slightly improved over the course with each drink and attempt. My friend's wife - small, thin and a non-drinker scored around 70% the first time, 40% the next and was so drunk on the third time that she had to be helped into the car, which she then stalled - test abandoned, wife being sick, everyone laughing, etc.
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Offline Chronos

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Re: Why is it never the drunk driver who gets injured or killed?
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2012, 06:24:47 AM »
I think there should be a mandatory jail sentence for first time offenders (one year), higher of course if they do damage or harm or kill. Sadly, with our prison system already burgeoning from drugs, I don't quite know how we would go about doing this. Maybe we could have separate prisons for them (since most of them are not otherwise criminal), and one of their jobs as prisoners would be to go out to the scene of fatal car crashes and help clean up the mess, including helping to pull the bodies out of the mangled cars. That might help cure them.

Or just shoot 'em.

Not all prosecuted of drunk driving are repeat offenders. Most aren't.

Perhaps the best way of reducing drunk driving is to reduce the numbers of cars on the road, overall. That would have multiple benefits beyond reducing the likelihood of drunk driving.

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Offline Hatter23

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Re: Why is it never the drunk driver who gets injured or killed?
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2012, 08:59:19 AM »
Then there's another Christmas Eve story (because there's always a Christmas miracle!)

One of my Bosses had a son what was robbed and murdered while delivering food to the poor on Christmas eve. Sigh, one of those instances that only illustrates the lack of an interventionist deity and justice in the world.
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Why is it never the drunk driver who gets injured or killed?
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2012, 10:30:31 AM »
it certainly seems that way.  I will say that I have seen a drunk driver get injured, but not badly.  When I was about 12, a car hit our house, would have killed anyone who would have been in that bathroom that day.  I and my family were having dinner at the time.  The driver was so drunk I think that saved his life and only earned him a broken leg.   Some kids got drunk from my high school and plummeted over an embankment all dying.  Of course, the idiots just had to have the yearbook dedicated to them.   :P

I'm all for cruxifying drunk drivers along the road. 
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: Why is it never the drunk driver who gets injured or killed?
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2012, 11:55:25 AM »
I tend to agree with some of the sentiments expressed about the seriousness of drink driving. I think the law is far too lenient in dealing with those over the limit because there really is no excuse for it happening. AFAIC, it should be one strike and out, never allowed to hold a licence again.
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Offline Emma286

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Re: Why is it never the drunk driver who gets injured or killed?
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2018, 07:18:48 AM »
Mod edit: Spam removed.

Uh yeah...but this thread is over six years old. ;) Probably best to check the date of the most recent post in threads in future, before deciding whether or not to participate. 8)

« Last Edit: September 18, 2018, 06:16:53 PM by jetson »

Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Why is it never the drunk driver who gets injured or killed?
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2018, 08:12:57 AM »
It’s a good topic to discuss because even I have seen many cases like this. Working under DUI attorney Los Angeles has showed me so many cases like this and have no idea where to get an answer for it. It is wonderful that you have shared this post with everybody and I am sure there will be a reason for this thing.

Uh yeah...but this thread is over six years old. ;) Probably best to check the date of the most recent post in threads in future, before deciding whether or not to participate. 8)

Looks like a spam bot to me  &)
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Offline Truth OT

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Re: Why is it never the drunk driver who gets injured or killed?
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2018, 10:13:40 AM »
I have some doubts as it pertains to the drunk driving stats. For years I have wondered when accidents are concerned, what BAL (blood alcohol level), the driver had at the time of the accident. My understanding is that if the driver had been drinking anything at all, they are considered a drunk driver and it is further assumed that the alcohol was the cause of the accident. That last assumption has perhaps created a false narrative about the dangers of DRINKING and then subsequently driving.

As a person that shares the road with millions of others, I would rather the focus of LEOs be on reckless and bad drivers moreso than those who drink and drive.

Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Why is it never the drunk driver who gets injured or killed?
« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2018, 05:12:39 PM »
I have some doubts as it pertains to the drunk driving stats. For years I have wondered when accidents are concerned, what BAL (blood alcohol level), the driver had at the time of the accident. My understanding is that if the driver had been drinking anything at all, they are considered a drunk driver and it is further assumed that the alcohol was the cause of the accident. That last assumption has perhaps created a false narrative about the dangers of DRINKING and then subsequently driving.

As a person that shares the road with millions of others, I would rather the focus of LEOs be on reckless and bad drivers moreso than those who drink and drive.

LEO's don't pull over people who are in compliance with the law. They pull over people who are not in compliance with the law. Sometimes, the people they pull over are also drunk. In other words, on your way home from the bar you might get pulled over for having a tail light out. Or not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign or red light. Maybe you have a headlight out. There are a  thousand and one reasons for LEO to pull someone over.

LEO don't know if you are drinking and driving until he pulls you over and checks out the situation.

I am not sure how to describe the intricacies of this Hell, so I chose to begin with the most common or prominent theme of Hell, which is uncertainty.

Offline Truth OT

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Re: Why is it never the drunk driver who gets injured or killed?
« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2018, 08:54:31 AM »
LEO's don't pull over people who are in compliance with the law.

Shiiiiit! This can of worms you're tossing about here need not be opened.

Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Why is it never the drunk driver who gets injured or killed?
« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2018, 11:40:33 AM »
LEO's don't pull over people who are in compliance with the law.

Shiiiiit! This can of worms you're tossing about here need not be opened.

I'm just talking about driving. I have never been pulled over for no reason whatsoever. I've been pulled over for speeding, running stop signs, red lights, not having a seat belt on, tail lights...break lights...turn signal lights and headlights out. There was this one time though, now that I am thinking about it, that I was pulled over for no apparent reason. I was leaving a bar around 1 in the morning and a cop was camping outside the bar. He asked me if I knew why he pulled me over and I said no. Because I hadn't violated any traffic laws and my vehicle was in good working order. He didn't explain why he pulled me over, instead he asked if I had been drinking. I said yes. How many? Three. How long were you there? About 3 and a half hours. He asked me to recite the alphabet backwards starting from W and going back to L. So I did. He never asked for my ID or registration even though I was in N.C. but I lived in and my tag plainly shows that I lived in TN.

He let me go.

So, I concede that there are LEO's who will pull people over for no reason other than to check and see if they are doing something illegal but it all depends on location location location. And the time of the day. But they are not supposed to do that. However, I really don't have a problem with LEO's camping outside of bars and pulling people over to check and see if they are drunk or high.



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Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Why is it never the drunk driver who gets injured or killed?
« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2018, 04:27:35 PM »
Single car accident. Drunk driver. 3 dead.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eraCm2X07B4

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Offline Timo

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Re: Why is it never the drunk driver who gets injured or killed?
« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2018, 11:32:40 PM »
I've been pulled over for having dealer plates, even with the registration taped to the windshield.
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