Leading by Example this Saint Patrick's Day

Earlier this year, we released the fifth installment of our annual Traffic Safety Culture Index, a nationally-representative survey of the attitudes and behaviors of the American motoring public. As in previous years, we found that a “do as I say, not as I do” attitude persists, with many people admitting to doing the very same dangerous things – such as drinking and driving – that they say are unacceptable for others to do.

Consider the following:

-- More than nine-in-ten drivers say that drunk drivers are a serious threat to safety;
-- Nearly all (97%) say it is unacceptable for people to drive when they think they may have had too much to drink;
-- Four-in-five drivers support requiring ignition interlock use by all DWI offenders; and
-- More than half of people say drunk driving is a bigger problem today than it was three years ago.

However, despite these attitudes, roughly one-in-sevendrivers admit that they drove when they thought their blood alcohol level was close to or over the legal limit, at least once in the past year. Among the biggest culprits were males, 18.1 percent of whom reported drinking and driving (vs. 10% of females), and drivers in their early 20s, more than a quarter of whom admitted to this.
Friday and Saturday nights in general see the most drunk-driving-related crashes and fatalities, and with Saint Patrick’s Day falling on a weekend this year, there could be an even bigger risk. From our safety culture survey, we know that motorists are aware of the dangers of drinking and driving. So this year, we hope that more people will turn away from a “do as I say, not as I do” stance, and instead choose to “lead by example.” How? By designating a driver this Saint Patrick’s Day, taking public transportation, or calling a cab, and by watching out for friends and always buckling up!