Roughly 8,000 people are killed or injured in drink drive related collisions in the UK every year– that’s the equivalent of around 1 every hour.
Research has shown that young people’s attitudes towards driving safety are established well before the age at which they legally begin driving (especially under the influence of role models and based on personal traffic experiences).
‘Don’t Be That Someone’ is a campaign taking a pro-active approach to informing 14-18 year olds about the dangers and consequences of drink driving. The campaign also examines issues such as peer pressure, the responsibility of passengers, the after effects of causing serious injury or death, and possible consequences for families and the wider community. Department for Transport (dfT) statistics show that in 2013 (latest figures available) alone 40 % of all car passengers killed or injured in drink drive accidents were aged between 16 and 24 years.
The 2007 Chief Medical Officer’s (CMO) Annual Report calls attention to the fact that transport accidents are the leading cause of death among 16 to 18 year olds. The Report also cites international studies that consistently find young drivers are much more adversely affected by alcohol than older drivers, even when well within the legal blood alcohol content limit. As well as increasing the likelihood of risk taking behaviour, alcohol has a greater disrupting affect on young; novice drivers as more conscious consideration is necessary in driving compared to more experienced drivers.
Young passengers amplify the risk even more, both through exertion of peer pressure and distraction. Unlike older drivers, who drive more safely while carrying passengers, young drivers’crash risk drastically increases when carrying similarly aged individuals; and this risk is proportionate to the number of passengers in the vehicle.
The purpose of this campaign is to reduce the number of drink driving casualties by making people aware of the dangers of drink driving, all year round.
The above-mentioned age group is being targeted to instil good practice as well as sensible, informed attitudes and behaviour towards drink driving as early as possible. At such an impressionable age it is imperative that young people are made aware of the dangers, particularly as they are more prone to risk taking and less able to cope with the physical and mental effects of alcohol than adults. An added benefit of working with, and for, 14 to 18 year olds is that they have proven to be very responsive and motivated in passing on positive messages to others.
In 2011, deaths on the road increased, with drink drive fatalities accounting for 58% of that increase.
Finally, in 2011 drink drive casualties rose for the first time in 10 years.