A new report suggests that passengers who have consumed alcohol have a responsibility to avoid behaviour that puts pressure on drivers and increases the potential for collisions and casualties.
The report, Get Me Home: socialising, drinking and safe travel for young adults, was commissioned by the RAC Foundation and RoadSafe and compiled with the assistance of the IAM. It was financially supported by the brewer AB InBev.
The report’s authors, from Independent Social Research, engaged with young people to examine their car travel habits on social occasions where alcohol has been consumed.
The research was commissioned to inform the development of effective communications and interventions aimed at making car travel safer in such circumstances.
It says that passengers have a responsibility to refrain from dangerous behaviours such as distracting the driver, pressurising the driver into taking more passengers than the vehicle is designed for, travelling without a seatbelt, and getting into a car with a drunk-driver.
The report has been published to coincide with England’s final match in the 2014 World Cup, against Costa Rica, which kicks off at 5.00pm today (24 June). The RAC Foundation estimates that “at least three million England supporters are expected to see the match in bars and restaurants, and more than a million of these will be driving and many will be taking passengers”.
Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “Since 2005, alcohol consumption among young adults has declined by a third. Drink driving has also declined markedly in recent years but is still a significant cause of death and injury on the road.
“After England’s World Cup opener against Italy, Greater Manchester Police found that one in 10 drivers stopped was over the limit.
“It is the responsibility of the person behind the wheel to stay sober but passengers can assist by acknowledging the help they’re getting from the designated driver and perhaps offering to drive next time round.”
Adrian Walsh, director of RoadSafe, said: “The research highlights how important friends are in ensuring drivers stay sober. It also illustrates a responsible attitude among the young, but reinforces the need for reminders and incentives.”