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Road safety warning for England fans

24 Jun 2014 at 15:09

England fans planning to watch the World Cup finisher against Costa Rica in the pub on Tuesday are being urged to think about road safety for their journey home.

The RAC Foundation and RoadSafe partnership says more than three million people will pack into pubs and bars to see the game and around a third of them will be driving.

Not only are car owners being reminded not to drink and drive, we are also highlighting the need for fans to refrain from pressurising designated drivers into errors that could cost lives.

Drink-drive casualty figures have fallen by 55% over the past 10 years so the message is getting across. But it remains a problem, particularly among younger drivers.

Professor Stephen Glaister, Director of the RAC Foundation, said: "Since 2005, alcohol consumption among young adults has declined by a third. Drink-driving has also declined markedly in recent years but it is still a significant cause of death and injury on the road.

"After England's World Cup opener against Italy, Greater Manchester Police found that one in 10 drivers stopped was over the limit.

"It is the responsibility of the person behind the wheel to stay sober but passengers can assist by acknowledging the help they're getting from the designated driver and perhaps offering to drive next time round."

The RoadSafe and RAC Foundation report shows 280 people died in crashes involving drink-drivers in 2012 and one in six of all the fatalities on Britain's roads involved people getting behind the wheel after drinking too much alcohol.

As England make their final preparations to face Costa Rica the two organisations have released a report entitled Get Me Home: Socialising, Drinking and Safe Travel for Young Adults.

The Independent Social Research-compiled study of the car travel habits of young drinkers warns them not to distract drivers or put pressure on them to take more passengers than they are supposed to.

It also says they should make sure they wear seatbelts and refuse to get into a car if they think the driver is over the limit.

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At least three million England supporters are expected to see the England v Costa Rica match in bars and restaurants. It is estimated more than a million of these will be driving and many will be taking passengers.

As a new report is published,The RAC Foundation and the road safety partnership RoadSafe are asking fans to get behind their designated drivers and not to apply any pressure on them that might result in an accident.

While the past decade has seen the number of people killed or seriously injured in a crash involving drunk-drivers fall by more than half (55%) intoxicated motorists, particularly the young, are still a major hazard on Britain's roads.

In 2012, 280 people were killed as a direct result of drink-driving crashes and drink-driving is a factor in approximately 1 in 6 of all road deaths. While 18% of all drivers or riders killed on the roads are over the alcohol limit, this rises to 23% for those aged 16-24.

To coincide with the England Game against Costa Rica the RAC Foundation is publishing Get Me Home: socialising, drinking and safe travel for young adults which was compiled by Independent Social Research.

The report's authors engaged with young people to take a fresh look at their car travel habits on social occasions where the consumption of alcohol is involved. The research was commissioned to inform the development of effective communications and interventions aimed at making car travel safer in such circumstances.

The report says passengers have a responsibility not to:

- distract the driver

- pressure the driver into taking more passengers in the car than there is room for

- travel without a seatbelt

- get into a car with a drunk-driver.

The report was jointly commissioned by the RAC Foundation and RoadSafe and compiled with the assistance of the IAM. It was financially supported by the brewer AB InBev.

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Professor Stephen Glaister, Director of the RAC Foundation, said:

"Since 2005, alcohol consumption among young adults has declined by a third. Drink-driving has also declined markedly in recent years but it is still a significant cause of death and injury on the road.

"After England's World Cup opener against Italy, Greater Manchester Police found that one in ten drivers stopped was over the limit.

"It is the responsibility of the person behind the wheel to stay sober but passengers can assist by acknowledging the help they're getting from the designated driver and perhaps offering to drive next time round."

Copyright Press Association 2014