Brake comments on increase in drink-driving crashes in 2016

News from Brake
Tuesday, 13 February 2018
 
The Department for Transport has published provisional estimates [1] on personal injury drink drive crashes in Great Britain for 2016 [2]. These show a statistically significant rise in all key crash data, relating to at least one driver being over the alcohol limit: the number of fatalities; the number of killed or injured; and the total number of crashes [3].
 
Commenting on the statistics, Joshua Harris, Director of Campaigns at road safety charity Brake, said: “These figures must be a wake-up call to the Government, forcing them to act now to eradicate the menace of drink-driving from our roads. The number of drink-drive related deaths, injuries and total crashes in 2016 have all increased from levels which were already unacceptable. This deeply concerning trend highlights the urgent need for the Government to enforce an effective zero tolerance drink-driving level across the UK [4].
 
“Research has shown even very small amounts of alcohol dramatically affect safe driving - drivers with just 20-50mg alcohol per 100ml of blood are at least three times more likely to die in a crash than those with no alcohol at all [5].
 
“The current drink-driving limit gives a false impression that it is safe to drink and drive. Only by changing this perception can we eradicate the needless loss of life caused by alcohol on our roads. Brake is calling for the Government to implement an effective zero tolerance drink-drive limit of 20mg per 100ml of blood, making clear to drivers that not a drop of alcohol is safe.”
 
[ENDS]
 
Notes to editors
 
[1] Updated 2016 final estimates for casualties in reported drink-drive accidents are scheduled to be published in August 2018.
[3] “Provisional estimates for 2016 show that between 200 and 280 people were killed in accidents in Great Britain where at least one driver was over the drink-drive limit, with a central estimate of 240 deaths… An estimated 9,050 people were killed or injured when at least one driver was over the drink-drive limit… The total number of collisions and accidents where at least one driver was over the alcohol limit rose by 6 per cent to 6,080 in 2016”
 
About Brake
 
Brake is a national road safety and sustainable transport charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies.
 
We do this through national campaignscommunity educationservices for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.
 
Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.
 
Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.