Report 2 - Fit to drive?

Report 2 - Fit to drive?Published 2010

Drink and drug driving are among the most disgraceful social ills of the developed world. Although it's often claimed that drink driving is socially unacceptable, it still accounts for one in six road deaths. We don't know the exact extent of drug drive casualties, but we do know it is a growing menace. This report reveals a significant minority admit driving on drink or drugs, and examines misapprehensions that are likely to contribute to this ongoing problem.

Tired driving can also have catastrophic consequences, as illustrated in 2001, when the country woke up to the carnage caused by a driver who fell asleep and drove onto train tracks near Selby, causing 10 deaths. Years later, this survey demonstrates ongoing complacency and confusion about preventing fatigue at the wheel.

The recommendations for Government at the end of this report set out steps that must be taken to stamp out the devastation caused by people driving while impaired by drink, drugs or tiredness.

Main findings:

  • One in three (35%) admit driving after drinking alcohol (any amount) in the past year, a decrease from 51% who admitted this in 2003
  • Four in 10 (38%) admit 'morning after' drink driving, up from 28% in 2003
  • Nearly half (45%) believe they would need to consume two or more units for their driving to be affected, with one in seven (14%) believing it takes three or four units or more
  • More than half (53%) think there is a less than a one in four chance of being caught if they were to drive over the limit, while nearly a third (31%) think there is less than a one in ten chance.
  • One in 25 (4%) admit driving on drugs in the past year
  • Nearly three-quarters (74%) admit driving tired in the past 12 months, compared to 46% in 2003

Press releases from this report:

Breath-testing rate low and drivers know it, 14 April 2011
Driver tiredness on the rise 10 years on from Selby Crash, 28 February 2011
Morning after drink-driving on the rise, 14 December 2010
Millions risking lives through confusion over tired driving, 13 August 2010