2 December 2017
Worryingly, the number of drivers who say they feel under increased pressure to have a drink over Christmas has gone up in the past six years. When the AA asked the same question in 2011, only 5%** said they felt pressured into having a drink – less than a third of the number feeling the same pressure this year.
Among those who say they feel under increased pressure to drink, it’s their work colleagues (42%) and friends (41%) who are the pushiest during the festive period and the most likely to offer them ‘one for the road’.
For younger drivers (18-24), more than a fifth (23%) say that their friends are the ones most likely to encourage them to drink even though they are driving.
What are drivers' biggest worries at Christmas?
The AA-Populus driver poll also found that three out of 10 (30%) said their biggest worry when driving over the Christmas period was other people drinking and driving.
- Drivers in the West Midlands hold this fear most, with a third (33%) saying it was their main concern when driving over Christmas.
- Scottish drivers held this fear the least where only a quarter (26%) of drivers are worried about drink-drivers.
The findings come as the AA and police forces across the UK launch their campaigns to stamp out seasonal drink-driving. This year the AA is advising drivers to say “no thank you” when asked if they want a drink.
Edmund King, AA president, said: “It is worrying that people are still encouraging others to take such risks. An almost three and a half times increase in the number of drivers under pressure to drink and drive is not a good sign.
A cocktail of peer pressure, bravado and a fear of missing out makes it harder for young drivers to say no
“A cocktail of peer pressure, bravado and a fear of missing out makes it harder for young drivers to say no.
“So if a friend or work colleague offers you a drink when you’re driving, say no thank you.
“The best and safest advice is that, if you are going to drive, don’t drink and if you’re going to drink, don’t drive.”
* Populus received 18,547 responses from AA members to its online poll between 14 and 21 November 2017.
** Populus received 18,138 responses from AA members to its online poll between the 20 and 27 October 2011.