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Summer driving and the demon drink

Shot glasses  

Summer makes us all want to celebrate, if only because it’s not raining every single day. A cold beer seems like less of an indulgence than in the winter, because hey – it’s summer, and the sun’s still up so it can’t be time to go home.

Unfortunately, most of us still have to work out the driving situation. Do I resist the tempting array of drinks so I can drive home safely? Muddle my way home by cab after a few too many? Or shrug off those three pints as ‘just a quick drink’?

What the stats say

The AA did a poll of drivers last year, to find out how we really feel about alcohol when the sun comes out. Twice as many drivers said they’re more tempted to drink drive in the summer than those tempted in the winter.

65% of young drivers and 68% of all UK drivers said they’d confiscate their designated driver’s keys if they’d had too many, but would they be as strict with themselves?

We are going in the right direction when it comes to young drivers. These are the government’s latest statistics on the involvement of 16 to 19 year olds in fatal drink-related crashes:

  • 2009: 25% of crashes caused the death of a 16 to 19 year old
  • 2010: 19% of crashes caused the death of a 16 to 19 year old
  • 2011: 8% of crashes caused the death of a 16 to 19 year old

Unfortunately, the 20 to 29 age group hasn’t seen the same improvement – the number killed in drink drive accidents went up by almost 10% in 2011. So our youngest drivers may be among our more drink-aware drivers, but bad habits can easily emerge as they move into their 20s and feel more confident.

It's just round the corner

This over-confidence is a big part of the problem. You drive the same car on the same roads every day: you reckon you could do it with your eyes shut. But most drink drive crashes happen just around the corner from the journey start point, to people who were only nipping back from the pub.

So even though it’s summer and that’s reason enough to raise a glass, please don’t drink and drive. It’s never worth risking your life - or someone else’s - and if you do, an accident really is just round the corner.

We’ll be talking a lot about drink and drug driving over the next week so keep up with us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest.

Honor Clement-Hayes

By Honor Clement-Hayes

Honor joined ingenie in 2014 and is in charge of words on the Young Driver's Guide and blog. Her first car is a Peugeot 206 cabriolet, which is a very sensible choice for the British climate. Follow her on .