More than one in three young drivers (35%) say they will travel further by car this summer than they did last year. This compares with 24% of 18 to 24-year-olds who will drive less, an AA Populus survey has found. Much of this mileage will be social, and will often involve trips to places where alcohol is available.

The predominance of younger drivers travelling further this summer bucks the trend in an AA Populus survey of 16,355 AA members. In all other age groups, the percentage of drivers cutting back is higher than those chalking up more miles this summer, but, as Department for Transport data shows, per mile driven, young drivers will have the highest risk of a drink drive accident, up to five times the risk of the average driver, says the AA.

This is one of the reasons why the AA and Pernod Ricard UK are targeting young adults in the 18-24 age range with a summer anti-drink driving campaign that focuses on social media. Reminders that warn of the dangers of not planning who is going to drink and who is going drive when celebrating summer will appear Thursday to Saturday between 6pm and 11pm on Facebook, Spotify, wOOt!, network sites and mobile applications.

“We hope that younger drivers making plans for the evening will also plan how best to travel safely in their online conversation,” says Edmund King, AA president.  "Whether the plan is to watch the Olympic Games in a pub, on a City centre large screen or at friends, getting home safely with licence intact has to be top of the agenda. People actually attending the Olympics are encouraged to use public transport. The safest advice this summer is - if you’re going to drink, don’t drive and if you’re going to drive don’t drink."

Denis O’Flynn, managing director of Pernod Ricard UK says: “We are delighted to continue this anti-drink driving campaign with the Automobile Association.  We encourage all consumers to accept responsibility and enjoy themselves throughout the summer without putting themselves or others at risk. Our marketing campaign will use social media to target youngadultdrivers.”


    • Drink drive fatalities account  for 13.5% of all road accident fatalities  
    • In 2010, 9,700 reported  casualties occurred as a result of a drunk driver  
    • In 2010 there were around 410  pedestrian casualties and 90 pedal cyclist casualties in accidents with a  driver over the legal alcohol limit
    • Those aged between 17-24 are  more likely to have a drink driving related accident per mile  driven  
    • Overall, 2.4 % of men involved  in an accident failed a breath test in 2010 - well over twice the rate of  women