One More Will Hurt! Why Do People Still Drink And Drive?

    Posted by Ben Davidson about 4 months ago

    As drivers, we can become confident over our knowledge of the fundamentals, but the more we drive, for some of us, a certain sense of ignorance comes into play. By which, we start to let our good habits slip gradually. We've all had a moment of absent-mindedness behind the wheel. But we only have to look at other drivers out there who continually take risks, by cutting in front of us, not indicating, and, of course, speeding, to see that risk-taking is a major factor, stemming from a sense of ignorance behind the wheel. And, if we are trying to address why drink driving is still a common problem, is it about the psychology of the driver, or the rules of driving in general? Let's see if we can answer this riddle of the road.


    Is It A Generational Thing?

    When talking about drink driving in general, it's predominantly associated with the younger generations, specifically millennials. But, while 1 in 10 millennials believe they could drink more than the legal limit and still function behind the wheel, one survey provided by an insurance company looking for the reasons why people drink and drive, out of the participants 31% were between 18 and 19 years old, and 15% were between 20 and 36, it was actually 62% between the ages of 37 and 52 years old. On the face of it, drink driving isn't necessarily something associated with being young. While we have to look for the reasons behind people drink driving, we've got to see if getting away with it once is a fundamental reason why people do it again and again. The fact is, if we can get away with it once, the chances are we would do it again.


    Is It A Lack Of Communication?

    This may seem like a silly question because there are so many drink driving campaigns out there, but we only have to look at the information provided by numerous law firms relating to DUI cases to show how the law is changing and how evidence is gathered. For example, breath testing, as well as blood testing, are two components, but as there are more sophisticated programs being enforced to minimize drink-driving, as well as the harsh punishments involved, it's amazing how many people still decide to chance it. If we look at the drink driving campaigns, we can see that, as far as exposure is concerned, it increases towards the busy times of the year, like Christmas. But for the rest of the year, you may not see as many commercials highlighting the dangers. It's very much a peak and trough of advertising. Throw into the mix the way people consume information now, and television commercials don't factor that highly anymore as we watch TV on demand. It's a little thing, but this may point towards the reason why millennials may choose to take their chances. But, as we've seen, the older generations are still running the risks as well.


    Is It About Gender?

    In the age of toxic masculinity, and the overwhelming statistic that men are injured in drink driving accidents, while the correlation between youth and riskiness is obvious, overwhelmingly, the fact that men are more likely to be injured as a result of drink driving, highlights it could be to do with that temptation to show off. On the other hand, some people are adrenaline junkies, and they feel that rush every time they put their lives in danger. While gender is still a topic for debate, we can't make the assumption that it's all to do with men. The attitude and that innate ignorance on the roads can boil down to a personality type.


    So Why Do We Do It?

    Although it would appear that we're not setting out to drink and drive, as this is circumstantial, it's all about the decisions we make before we get back in the car. As alcohol impairs our decision-making abilities and gives us an inflated sense of confidence, it can be the fact that we’ve got away with it once means that we can just do it again without any setback can loom large in our mind. It's natural, the more we do something under the influence of alcohol, the better we think we are at it because we develop a tolerance or resilience to it. And you don't need us to tell you that drink driving is the most stupid thing in the world. The fatalities speak for themselves. But why do we still do this sort of thing? A study conducted by the National Public Services Research Institute decided to get to the bottom of this. The prevailing reasons were social and environmental influences, which accounted for approximately one-third of all the decisions. Peer pressure still appears to be the main problem. In which case, it's a matter of self-control.


    Even if you've done it before, if you ever decide to drink drive, it's not just about the fact that you could get into an accident. It's about the impact on everyone else. You may let someone else drive under the influence, and this is as dangerous. And this is as alarming because even if you are sober and you let someone else drive home, the guilt on you can be massive. Amazingly, we're still having this discussion about driving under the influence of alcohol, and this surely highlights that there's a problem inherent within us, either due to excessive consumption of alcohol, or a lack of control within us, or it could be environmental. Peer pressure is still prevailing because of the youth contingent getting involved in drunk driving accidents, this is something we carry with us the older we get. Peer pressure isn't just something relegated to youth groups. Because drink driving is still a problem, even though we know better to not do it, there are circumstances in life where we think that it's easier for us to get behind the wheel. But to make it simple, just don't!


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