Hazards Faced by Young Designated Drivers: In-Car Risks of Driving Drunken Passengers
This qualitative study explored the risk in the practice of young designated drivers transporting intoxicated peers. Young drivers 18-29 years old in Alberta, Canada participated in 12 focus groups (N = 146). Interviews were semi-structured.
A key finding is that when highly intoxicated youth are driven by a designated driver who is a peer, they are likely to behave in ways that are unsafe. Unsafe actions of intoxicated passengers in the vehicle include physical “rough housing” with the driver, creating stress for the driver that leads to high-risk driving situations, and disrupting safe driving through nausea and in-car vomiting.