One in four young drivers has been in a car when they believed the driver was under the influence of drugs – and one in 10 has admitted taking the wheel themselves while under the influence, according to the 2009 RAC Report on Motoring.
The report, now in its 21st year, also shows 17-24 year olds are more likely to be distracted while driving than their older counterparts. More than one in four occasionally send text messages at the wheel – and 5% admit to being frequent texters.
However the report shows that younger drivers are less likely to drink-drive and are more knowledgeable about environmentally friendly driving techniques.
Almost a third (32%) of 45-64 year olds admitted to driving while potentially over the drink-drive limit compared to fewer than a quarter (24%) of 17-24 year olds.
Meanwhile, a third (36%) of 17-24 year olds are very confident they understand the skills required to be a greener driver, compared to just a quarter of other motorists.
Adrian Tink, RAC’s motoring strategist, said: "This year’s report clearly shows a generational divide among motorists as regards their vices.
“Younger drivers have many good habits that bode well for the future of motoring, but their attitude towards drug-driving is worrying, particularly as the number of fatal accidents involving drugs has increased by 28% in recent years.
“For other motorists there’s still work to do on tackling the drink-drive culture and raising awareness of environmental driving issues.
"The Government needs to listen to the voice of the new generation of motorists. They want more clear and accessible information on the effects of drugs, the reality of the drink-drive limit and the ‘morning after’ risks.
“We’ve seen successful high profile campaigns showing the devastating impacts drink-driving can have, and there’s more vital work to be done on that issue, but we need to see more high profile information for the potentially equally tragic and ever increasing problem of drug-driving."
Click here to read the full RAC news release about the report: Drugs, Drink, Distractions and Environmental Driving.