Unintended Results of Drunk Driving: A Surprise!

An unintended results of drunk driving? We all know that drunk driving has many unintended results. There’s the possibility of death (ourselves or others). Of course drunk driving increases the risk of injury. Or getting a citation. That’s both embarrassing and expensive.

Let’s say you go to a party nearby and drink too much. Should you drive? Mothers Against Drug Driving (MADD) was formed in 1980 by Candy Lightner. Since that time public awareness of that crime has increased. Laws have been increased. And are enforced. 

Or should you walk the mile to your house? You could use the exercise. So you decide to walk home. Driving drunk is simply too dangerous.

Super Freakonomics

Steven Levitt and Steven wrote the book, Super Freakonomics. They ask such questions as can a sex change boost your salary. Or why chemo is prescribed so often when it’s so ineffective. This piece is written inspired on their book. (But the data are up-dated.)

In a recent year, over 1,500 drunk walkers were killed. That’s 35% of walkers killed in traffic accidents.  Only 13% of drivers involved in crashes in which pedestrians were drunk.

About 13,000 people are killed in traffic crashes. Over 1,500 deaths may seem small in comparison. Yet it’s 12%. That’s almost 1/8th as many!

As Super Freakonomics points out The relevant question is this. “[O]n a per- mile basis, is it more dangerous to drive or walk drunk? On “a per-mile basis, a drunk walker is eight times more likely to get killed than a drunk driver.” ( p. 3)

Of course, drunk walkers kill only themselves. But fatal accidents involving alcohol, 36% of the victims are innocent. Either riders, walkers, or other drivers. Even considering  the deaths of innocents,  walking drunk is five times more dangerous.

What to Do?

What’s a drunk person to do? Clearly don’t drive or walk drunk. Perhaps people should moderate their drinking. Or, failing that, have a sober person drive them home. It may be a Designated Driver, an Uber or Lyft, or a sober friend.

unintended results of drunk

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