1/3 of young drivers admit to drink driving

Poll: 55% of youth prefer going out to bars.

drinking liquor 311 (photo credit: AP)
drinking liquor 311
(photo credit: AP)
Road safety group Or Yarok released findings from a new survey on Monday revealing that a third of all young drivers aged 17-24 who go out partying with their cars get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol.
The survey, which was conducted by TNC Teleseker research group by interviewing a representative sample of 300 people, found that the respondents’ preferred recreational venue was bars (55%), followed by restaurants and coffee shops, nightclubs, parties, friends’ houses, the beach and shopping centers.
The survey also found that 90% of the young people who went out at night went by car, either as drivers or passengers, and that 66% of them returned from their outings between midnight and 4 a.m.
According to Or Yarok, there is a link between the youth’s recreational patterns and their likelihood of being involved in risky behavior. Fifty-four percent of the drivers who took risks tended to go to bars, regularly consume alcohol and return home after midnight.
The survey found that the youth were aware of the risks of driving under the influence of alcohol. Two-thirds said they didn’t drive after drinking, yet the other third said they did, although they drank far less than usual.
Eighty-one percent of the respondents said they decided among themselves on a designated driver.
“The chances of young drivers being involved in traffic accidents are higher than other age groups,” said Or Yarok director-general Shmuel Abuav.
“Almost a quarter of the drivers involved in accidents are young people between 17 and 24. Large portions of the youth are not only involved in unsafe behavior, but also legitimize those behaviors.”
Abuav called summer vacation the youth’s “time to blossom, and they use it to go out and have fun.”
“This is part of the youth’s pattern of life, but it is important to note that this time of the year also carries great risks on the roads,” he said. “Many of the young people are new drivers, lacking in skills and experience. They drive at night, under difficult conditions, with friends who often distract them and, worst of all, under the influence of alcohol. This is risky and dangerous behavior that increases the chances of involvement in traffic accidents.”
Or Yarok called on young drivers to take advantage of a Transportation Ministry initiative that provides people with late-night bus services to and from major entertainment districts across the country.
The special routes, called “Night Buses,” operate in 33 cities every night except Friday until 3:30 a.m.
“It is a blessed initiative,” Abuav said. “We hope that youth make use of it and avoid using private vehicles when returning from their outings and drinking alcohol. We hope that the Night Buses, together with aggressive enforcement by the police , more severe penalties for DUI charges and more education, will lead to fewer deaths and injuries of young people on Israel’s roads.”