New analysis of drivers who were under the influence of alcohol at the time of a crash shows clear regional differences and highlights the extent of the problem of drink driving in rural areas.
The analysis has been compiled by Road Safety Analysis (RSA) to support the national drink drive campaigns that are currently being run by the DfT THINK! team and police forces across the country.
The information was sourced from the STATS19 database of reported injury collisions between 2010 and 2014 and is presented on an interactive map showing the figures by different police forces.
It uses counts of cars involved in crashes where the contributory factor ‘CF501 Driver Impaired by Drink’ was assigned by the attending police officer, compared with incidents where CF501 was not attributed.
In order to calculate a population based rate the ONS data for residents of each police force area was used, together with the home postcode of the driver. This gives a ‘drivers from’ calculation, rather than a ‘crashes in’ measure.
Figures for individual police forces compare how frequently that force records car drivers who reside in their own area as impaired by alcohol, compared to the national rate.
The analysis reveals that of more than 500,000 car drivers involved in police attended injury collisions between 2010 and 2014, 2.7% were considered impaired by drink at the time of the crash. Drivers from rural areas were 22% more likely to be impaired by alcohol than all drivers.
When further broken down by police force area, the figures show that relative to population size, drivers from Lincolnshire were 71% more likely to be considered over the limit than the national norm. Car drivers from London were the least likely with a risk rate 63% lower than the average.
Nationally the percentage of crash involved car drivers who were intoxicated has declined from 3.1% in 2010 to 2.5% in 2014. Despite the concentration of effort in December however, it is the month of May that sees the greatest percentage of drunk drivers.
In conclusion, Road Safety Analysis says that while the vast majority of British drivers are responsible when it comes to drinking and driving, in rural areas it is much harder and more expensive to take the safe option.