Suit That Makes You Feel Drunk Provides Sobering Experience for Young Drivers

April 2, 2014

It’s easy to assume that everyone knows that drinking and driving is a potentially lethal combination. But a survey of 5,000 18-24-year-old Europeans, recently conducted by Ford, revealed that most reported either having driven while drunk, or having seen friends drink and drive.

It also showed a third of those surveyed – from the U.K., France, Germany, Italy and Spain – had accepted a ride from someone under the influence of alcohol, and two thirds admitted they did not know the legal alcohol limit for driving.

While more than a quarter of those who admitted they had driven while drunk – believed they were still safe to get behind the wheel.

Young drivers from the U.K. were the least likely to know the legal alcohol limit for driving, with 86 per cent admitting they did not know what that limit was. A further third said they know someone who has been banned from driving following a drink driving conviction.

Ford has now come up with an entirely safe way to use first-hand experience to highlight the risks of drink driving. The “Drink Driving Suit” – the only one of its kind in the world – simulates the effects of drinking alcohol, through tunnel-vision glasses; ear muffs, wrist and ankle weights; and padding to elbows, neck, and knees.

Even walking a straight line is a major challenge after donning the suit, underlining how much more difficult a more complex activity – like driving – becomes under the influence of alcohol.

Ford is now taking the “Drink Driving Suit” on a tour of Europe as part of its Driving Skills for Life young driver training programme.