Choose life - drive without alcohol!

Polytechnic school

Alcohol is one of the major problems in traffic, especially with young drivers. Traffic-related deaths and injuries are something we hear about almost on a daily basis. This campaign was an effort to bring the youth and the consequences of drinking and driving face to face.

The ideas

The first step was to single out the most common problems in traffic for young people. After brainstorming, the issue of drinking and driving popped up as the biggest problem almost instantaneously. Pretty much every single person in the group, at one point in time, has had a close encounter with this issue, either by knowing someone who participated in an accident or being directly involved. In order to back up these claims, we set up a survey for 3rd and 4th-year students which makes about 200 students. The survey was anonymous and it contained questions about whether the students had ever, and if so how often, driven under influence. Also, if they had ever, and if so how often, agreed to be driven by a person under influence and such. The results are the following: 30% of the students who were surveyed have a driver's license, 20% of these drivers have admitted to having driven under influence in the past month, 5% have been drinking and driving more than 7 times during this period; 50% said that they would accept to be driven by a drunk driver. The data also shows that 28,7% of the children were in a situation where they were driven by parents who were drunk. 

The initiatives

To say the survey results were shocking would be an understatement. We planned to implement a number of activities in order to point out the bad influence alcohol has on drivers, especially the younger ones who don't have enough driving experience. The activities are based on reflex testing, the ability to react and reaction speed as well as driving using the simulator. Students were first able to test their skills, then they would repeat these activities using drunken goggles. By using the goggles, which can simulate even the smallest amounts of alcohol, a decline of aptness is noticeable; slower reactions, poor vision and such. The students we tested reported that they couldn't see traffic signs clearly, they saw traffic light changes more slowly, with a strong reminder that in reality alcohol has a far greater effect than the experience they have had. A talk session was also organized. One of the students acted as a person who had an accident and lived to tell the tale. Students involved in the campaign gave lectures to raise awareness of the devastating consequences alcohol has on drivers. After the activities were done, participants filled in questionnaires examining how our activities had affected them. Over 80% of the participants wrote that they had changed their standpoints on consuming alcohol and driving which was exactly our goal. We created the facebook page to share our work with our local community and to affect other young people to change their viewpoints when it comes to alcohol and driving.

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