Reducing Drink-Related Road Traffic Accidents this Christmas

The issue of drink driving is very much under the spotlight at this time of year, with the police, Government and various road safety organisations all launching their festive anti-drink driving campaigns in an attempt to reduce the number of injuries and deaths occurring on the roads.

UK Government Targets Young Males

The UK Government’s THINK! Christmas drink drive campaign is this year aimed at young males in particular, as recent figures indicate they account for almost two thirds of drink drivers killed on our roads.

Research carried out for the Department for Transport found 20% of young men have had two or more drinks before driving, and an extra 11% say they have considered it – with a third of adults telling researchers they felt it wouldn’t impact on their driving. However, research from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence shows a second drink doubles a driver’s chances of being involved in a fatality.

Drink Driving Ruins Lives

“Drink driving destroys families and ruins lives, yet some reckless drivers continue to take the risk and get behind the wheel after drinking – particularly young men who account for almost two thirds of drink drivers killed on our roads,” said Road Safety Minister Andrew Jones.

“We have some of the safest roads in the world and deaths from drink driving have fallen significantly over the last 30 years, but it is still responsible for the deaths of five people every week,” he added. “This Christmas we are specifically targeting the biggest perpetrators of this devastating crime – young men, but our message to everyone remains the same: don’t drink and drive.”

The Scottish Government and Road Safety Scotland launched their festive drink drive awareness campaign with the message for drivers that ‘the best approach is none’.

“Between December last year and January 2016, 452 drivers failed a breath test,” commented Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins from Police Scotland, speaking at the launch of the campaign. “It’s really disappointing that so many people were prepared to cause danger to others as well as themselves.”

“The consequences of drink driving can be devastating and we will be particularly vigilant during the festive period to discourage anyone thinking about drinking and driving, so the best advice if you are planning to drink this Christmas is don’t risk it, don’t drink and drive,” he concluded.

Reducing Accidents

The start of December also saw the launch of a Christmas anti-drink drive campaign by road safety charity IAM RoadSmart. The charity is calling on all drivers to not drink any alcohol at all if they are getting behind the wheel, and to make the designated driver of the group the ‘hero of the road.’

IAM RoadSmart has highlighted that:

  • There were 35,000 drink drive offences recorded in the first nine months of 2015.
  • Having alcohol in your system at just below the limit increases your chances of dying in a crash six fold.
  • There were a total of 5,620 drink drive related accidents of all severities in 2014.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

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