Mike Stevens | Dec 22, 2010

New research by insurer AAMI has shown that many young motorists are still intoxicated when driving the morning after a big night out - and they know it.

According to figures from the tenth annual AAMI Young Driver Index, a frightening 46 percent of young drivers were aware they may have still been over the legal blood-alcohol limit when driving the morning after a night of heavy drinking.

“It’s a damning statistic. Many young drivers need to have a long hard think about alcohol and start making better personal choices before they jump behind the wheel,” AAMI spokesperson Mike Sopinski said.

The index analysed the attitudes of young motorists aged 18 to 24 regarding alcohol and drug use before driving, along with speed, fatigue and technology use (such as mobile phones and music players).

AAMI research figures showed that over the past ten years, the attitudes of 18-24 year-old motorists has changed little, even worsening on some topics.

Government campaigns against drink-driving appear to have had little effect, with 12 percent of respondents saying it's okay to drink and drive if they feel capable - compared to 15 percent in 2001.

Mobile phone usage behind the wheel has increased dramatically - likely following the uptake of mobile phones in general over the past ten years. Around 30 percent of young motorists in 2001 felt it okay to talk on their mobile phones while driving, compared to 50 percent in 2010.

Young drivers now seem less inclined to yield to fatigue, with only 38 percent pulling over when tired in 2010 compared to 64 percent in 2001.

Road rage has increased among young drivers also, with most now three times more likely to tailgate out of anger or frustration, up from 12 percent to 36 percent.

 

Other Key Findings

  • 50 percent of young drivers surveyed admit to using their mobile phones without a hands free kit while driving
  • 11 percent of young drivers have read emails or surfed the web on their mobile device while driving
  • 14 percent of young drivers think drug driving is safer than drink driving, down from 18% in 2001
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