22nd December 2015
Thousands of designated drivers could be at risk of having an accident this Christmas, as a result of drunk passengers distracting them, according to new research from Confused.com.
More than two fifths of motorists (43%) will act as a designated driver for their drunken friends and family at some point over the Christmas period. However, these drunken passengers risk causing mayhem on the roads, with one in 20 designated drivers admitting that a drunken passenger has nearly made them crash their car.
Designated drivers say that their drunken passengers are often annoying (26%), stressful (12%) and distracting (10%). For an unlucky few (8%), their drunken passengers have even vomited in their driver’s car.
The stresses of having a drunken passenger in your vehicle often don’t go unnoticed by the authorities. In fact, a quarter of motorists pulled over by police on suspicion of drink-driving, who were not under the influence themselves, did have a drunken passenger in their car (25%).
However, the good news is, that with more people organising lifts home with a sober driver after drinking, there may be less drunken motorists posing a danger on UK roads. This is reflected by a drop in the number of people being convicted of drink driving over the last three years, as revealed by new FOI data obtained from UK Police Forces.
Figures obtained from Police Forces from across the UK reveal that between 2013 and 2014, the number of drink driving arrests fell by 6.5%* while 2015 looks set to be another step in the right direction, with over 2,500 fewer arrests made by September 2015 compared to the same stage in 2014.
Despite this fall in drink driving arrests, the bad news for road users is that December is still the month when the most drink driving arrests occur throughout the year, according to Police figures for 2014**. More than one in 10 Brits (11%) admit that they will drink on every night out over the Christmas period, the need to organise safe transport home is vital.
Matt Lloyd, Head of Motor Insurance at Confused.com says: “We’re all familiar with drink-driving and the dangers it causes at this time of year, but it would appear that there is a new danger on the road – the drunk passenger. Drivers might find it difficult to focus when travelling with a drunken passenger in the car with them, and with the difficult weather conditions associated with this time of year to contend with as well, it’s important for them to take note and be aware of what they may encounter.”