Have you prepared for St Patrick’s Day?

Blog post posted on 13/03/18 |

With St Patrick’s Day coming up, many of us will be celebrating by going on a night out. But have you done all you can to make sure you get home safely without the need of a car? Richard Gladman, IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, provides crucial tips on the preparations you need to make before, during and after drinking alcohol.

Note: If you have friends and family who are unaware of advanced driving techniques, please share these tips with them to help them stay safe on the road.

  • Even if you’re not driving, take into account that some alcoholic drinks are made up of more units than you may think. For example, one small glass of wine has 1.5 units and a single gin and tonic includes 0.9 units of alcohol. It’s a good idea to keep track of the number of drinks, and the type of drinks you’ve had during the evening as this can determine how long you need to leave it before your next drive the following day.
  • Are you able to drive the morning after? You can calculate the number of hours you need to wait before you can get in your car by accessing apps like the morning after calculator. A good rule of thumb is to allow an hour per unit of alcohol and then add another hour for absorption. So, if you’ve drunk 10 units of alcohol, that’s 11 hours of no driving, and that’s after you’ve had your last drink.
  • Never believe the myths that sometimes float around about eating bread or a big breakfast to sober you up. Yes it may give you more energy, and even ease the headache, but it definitely doesn’t help quicken the process of the alcohol leaving your system. So don’t let this false sense of security fool you.
  • If you’re going out then leave your car at home. Avoid taking your vehicle out, even if you’re planning on leaving it parked overnight and taking another way home. The more you drink, the more your attitude towards risk changes, which means you may be tempted to drive it home. Don’t risk it. Plan your route from A to B. This can be by train, taxi, bus or even a designated driver, but never your car. Even if you feel you have no way of getting home, it’s better to wake up a friend or family member to come and pick you up rather than get into your car.
  • Don’t drink and drive. It’s simple. We recommend that you never drink and drive – not even after having one drink. At just below the legal limit, you are four times more likely to be involved in a road crash than if you had not had a drink. So no alcohol at all is the best way to stay safe. #NoneForTheRoad.

Richard says: “ A designated driver is a great idea if you all take it in turns, remember to keep them topped up with soft drinks, after all a free cab home is a bargain. And don’t try to encourage them to just have one. If you do need to drive the following day you need to stop drinking earlier, better still, have another day off the roads. If you can manage it, the walk home often takes the edge off the hangover you have invested in. Stay safe and enjoy your weekend.”


Notes to editors:

1.      Richard Gladman is IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards.

2.      IAM RoadSmart has a mission to make better drivers and riders in order to improve road safety, inspire confidence and make driving and riding enjoyable. It does this through a range of courses for all road users, from online assessments through to the advanced driving and riding tests. IAM RoadSmart is the trading name of all businesses operated by the UK’s largest road safety charity, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and was formed in April 2016 combining the IAM, IAM Drive & Survive, PDS and IAM Driver Retraining Academy. The organisation has 92,000 members and campaigns on road safety on their behalf. At any one time there are over 7,000 drivers and riders actively engaged with IAM RoadSmart’s courses, from members of the public to company drivers, while our Driver Retraining Academy has helped 2,500 drivers to shorten their bans through education and support programmes.

To find out more about IAM RoadSmart products and services visit the new website www.iamroadsmart.com

To find out the name of your own local IAM RoadSmart group please visit: https://wwwiamroadsmart.com/local-groups

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Further information from:

IAM RoadSmart press office – 020 8996 9777 

press.office@iam.org.uk / www.iamroadsmart.com

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