One in six feel pressured to drink and drive at Christmas

Written by Ellie

Turn on your TV or radio today and we can guarantee it won’t be long before you’re hit with an anti-drink-drive campaign, and despite the big push around this time of year, a considerable number of motorists aren’t getting the message, even if they know better.

That’s because one in six drivers (17 per cent) say they feel increased pressure during the festive period to have a drink when driving.

Six years ago, that figure was significantly lower at one in twenty (five per cent).

Out of those who say they feel under increased pressure to drink during the festive period, it’s their work colleagues (42 per cent) and friends (41 per cent) who are the pushiest and the most likely to offer them ‘one for the road’.

More than a fifth (23 per cent) of younger drivers (aged 18-24) say that their friends are the ones most likely to encourage them to drink even though they are driving.

For three in ten, their biggest worry when driving over the Christmas period was other people drinking and driving, with fears peaking in the West Midlands (33 per cent). This concern was least prevalent in Scotland (26 per cent).

Edmund King, president of the AA, which published the findings, believes younger drivers struggle to turn down a drink due to a combination of peer pressure, bravado and a fear of missing out.

Any motorists offered a drink by a friend or work colleague should simply say ‘no thank you’, Mr King advised.

He commented: “An almost three and a half fold increase in the number of drivers under pressure to drink and drive is not a good sign. The best and safest advice is that, if you are going to drive, don’t drink and if you’re going to drink, don’t drive.”

The AA’s findings emerged following a survey of 18,547 of the group’s members.

Molly Benton, brand manager at Fuel Card Services, added: “Everyone is entitled to a good time during the festive period, but it is hard to think of anything more irresponsible than encouraging friends and colleagues to drink and drive.”

Image: iStock/dehooks

Posted on 19th December 2017

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