An alarming number of people are drinking and driving on our roads
An alarming number of people are drinking and driving on our roads Contributed

SHOCK: The number of drink-drivers on our roads

DESPITE the overwhelming campaigns by both police and goverment, it seems the message on drink driving is not getting through, with potentially five million drivers having knowingly drink drived.

IT IS a result that beggars belief, but a new survey by insurance company Budget Direct has revealed that an alarming 29 per cent of respondents admitted to knowingly drinking and driving at least once in their life.

And these numbers don't include people who have driven while under the influence and not known it.

Drilling down the figures by state, Queensland shows one of hte higher percentages with 31.8 per cent saying they had drink-drived, while NSW had 25.2 per cent. The Northern Territory recorded the highest percent with a whopping 50 per cent of respondents saying they have driven over the limit.

Men were nearly twice as likely to respond that they had driven while under the influence, backing up figures that show that 91 per cent of drink drivers involved in fatal crashes were men.

What makes these statistics even more amazing is the revelation that despite the high number of people admitting to drink-driving, close to 90 per cent of responders felt that they would be caught if they drove while over the limit.

And while the figures show that most people believe the most common group of people who drink and drive are younsters between the age of 18-25, the highest age-group that admitted drink-driving were the 65+ and 55-64 year olds.

This can be attributed to not only the length of time they have driven, but also education campaigns which have aimed the message firmly at younger drivers, with a seven per cent decrease in road fatalities between 2008 and 2015 in drivers under 25.

If that's not bad enough, the study also found that more than 41 per cent of respondents reported having had a microsleep while at the wheel of a car.

Microsleeps are short, involuntary bursts of sleep, usually only noticed after they have occured when the person jerks awake, if they are noticed at all.

A microsleep can last from anywhere between a second to up to 10 seconds, meaning that if a vehicle is travelling 100km/h, a 10 second microsleep means the driver could be out of control of the vehicle for up to 270 meters.

The news is worse for Queensland drivers, having the second highest- response rate with 45.8 per cent saying that had a sleep at the wheel, while 39.6 per cent of NSW drivers admitted to the sleep.

The scary fact about microsleeps is that they can happen without us being aware of them, meaning that the percentage of drivers who may have experienced a microsleep could potentially be a lot higher than the reported 41.3%.

The full story can be found here: