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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(6), 1760-1777; doi:10.3390/ijerph6061760
Article

Hazards Faced by Young Designated Drivers: In-Car Risks of Driving Drunken Passengers

1,*  and 2
1 Centre for Health Promotion Studies and Alberta Centre for Injury Control and Research, School of Public Health, University of Alberta; 4075 RTF, 8308 – 114 Street; Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2E1, Canada 2 Department of Public Health Sciences and Alberta Centre for Injury Control and Research, School of Public Health, University of Alberta; 4075 RTF, 8308 – 114 Street; Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2E1, Canada
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 May 2009 / Accepted: 5 June 2009 / Published: 8 June 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol and Public Health)
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Abstract

This qualitative study explored the risk in the practice of young designated drivers transporting drunken 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 drunken 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.
Keywords: impaired driving; designated driver; traffic safety; injury control impaired driving; designated driver; traffic safety; injury control
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).
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Rothe, P.J.; Carroll, L.J. Hazards Faced by Young Designated Drivers: In-Car Risks of Driving Drunken Passengers. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6, 1760-1777.

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