Young drivers: a conversation that saves lives
belairdirect presents the results of a survey on young drivers showing that, while there’s room for improvement, awareness efforts in the last few years are bearing fruit.
Bad habits at a glance
Statistics don’t lie:
- A quarter of deaths or serious injuries on the road occur in the 16-24 age group.
- Among those who die, three quarters are young men.
We also know the risk factors that lead to these casualties. Young drivers are more likely to:
- Be distracted (texting, on social media or trying to impress their passengers)
- Drive while impaired (under the influence of alcohol or marijuana)
- Not wear a seatbelt
- Drive at night
Thinking and planning ahead
On a more positive note, a recent Canada-wide survey* conducted by belairdirect indicates better days may lie ahead. Increasingly, young people are becoming more aware that they have a measure of control over the negative outcomes behind the statistics, and they know they play an important role in keeping their friends alive and well.
According to the survey, 66% of respondents aged 18-24 reported that they plan in advance how they’ll return home when they expect they’ll be drinking. Nearly 80% said they had easy access to a taxi – meaning a safe return home would not be an impossible task.
For those who didn’t plan in advance, friends were reliable resources to call upon to help get home safely. Nearly half of Quebec respondents (44%) between the ages of 18-24 reported they’d stopped a friend from driving when he or she had had too much to drink at least at one point in the last 12 months. That’s a much higher percentage than for the population at large, as only a quarter of Canadians of all ages (26%) indicated that they had done the same.
The survey in a nutshell
- More alcohol and more drugs
- Forty percent of 18-24 year olds believe that alcohol and drug consumption has increased in the last five years.
- Drug use is perceived to be growing faster than alcohol consumption.
- Alcohol and drugs pose a danger on the road
- Nearly a three-quarters (73%) of respondents say alcohol or drugs are one of the factors that cause serious accidents most of the time.
- Poor judges of inebriation
- Sixty-nine percent of Quebec respondents feel they are able to assess whether they hadve gone over the legal driving limit.
- Following a breathalyzer test, 38% of respondents said their alcohol levels were higher than what they thought.
- Time is the answer
- More than three-quarters (78%) of Quebec respondents believe that only the passage of time is the solution for bringing down blood alcohol level.
*The survey, sponsored by belairdirect, was conducted between January 15 and 25 of this year and surveyed 4,084 Canadian respondents from 16 to 64 with a valid driver’s license, 2073 of whom were from Quebec.