18th December 2015
Young motorists are five times more likely to drink-drive if their parents do the same.
A study from Churchill Car Insurances reveals more than third (37%) of drivers aged 17-to-25 admit to drink-driving but the willingness to get behind the wheel drunk changes significantly depending on their parent’s behaviour.
Of the young motorists who say their parents drink-drive, 70% admit to drink-driving themselves. But if children have not witnessed their parents drink-driving, then the figure falls to just 14%.
A quarter of parents with children old enough to drive admit to getting behind the wheel when they are over the legal limit.
A total of 79% of parents who admit to drink-driving actively encourage their children not to do the same.
Of the young drivers who have seen their parents drink-drive, 60% said it was irresponsible but 23% did not see any problem with it.
Steve Barrett, head of car insurance at Churchill, said: ‘The immediate risks that those who drink-drive pose to other road users are widely known and very serious, but the knock-on impact on younger generations is extremely worrying.
‘By drink-driving, parents are unofficially sanctioning this behaviour and as a result, young drivers are far more likely to put themselves and other road users at risk by driving whilst intoxicated.’
Parents and young drivers cited similar reasons for drink-driving, with the top reason being ‘I was confident in my ability to drive safely’, followed by ‘I did not feel drunk at all’ and thirdly, ‘it was an emergency’.
Barrett said motorists may not feel drunk but they could still be over the limit.
‘Just because a driver can’t feel the effects of the alcohol they’ve consumed, doesn’t mean they are legally OK to drive or that it’s safe to do so,’ he said.
‘We’d urge parents to help convey this message by practicing what they preach and ensuring they never get behind the wheel if there’s a chance they may be over the limit.’