Special suit highlights drug driving risks

November 20, 2015

Did you know that in the U.K. every month 400 people are arrested on drug driving charges?

To show the dangers – to drivers, their passengers, and other road users – we’ve created a Drug Drive Suit.

The suit is designed to enable wearers to experience first-hand exactly how drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, and MDMA (commonly known as Ecstasy) could reduce reaction time, alter perception, and affect coordination.

“We know that some drugs can cause trembling hands, so we incorporated into the suit a device that creates just such a tremor,” said Gundolf Meyer-Hentschel, of the Meyer-Hentschel Institute that helped us to develop the suit. “Drug users sometimes see flashing lights in their peripheral field, an effect recreated by our goggles, while imaginary sounds are generated by the headphones. Additionally, the goggles distort perception, and produce colourful visual sensations – a side effect of LSD use.”

According to the European Commission Road Accident Database, car crashes are the leading cause of death in 18 to 24-year-olds, and another European study, shows drivers who get behind the wheel after taking drugs are up to 30 times more likely to be involved in a severe crash. *

Our award-winning young driver programme Ford Driving Skills for Life, has provided training to more than 500,000 people around the world through hands-on and online tuition since its inception 11 years ago. And now young drivers will have the opportunity to wear the suit, as well as receiving driving tuition on a closed course.

“One of the biggest problems with drugs is people don’t think they are being affected, but they are, massively,” said  Duncan Stableford, Essex Traffic Police. “They are more likely to make the wrong choice because they are not thinking straight.”

Driving Skills for Life training also has highlighting the dangers of Drink Driving – for which Ford developed the Drink Driving Suit, and the dangers of social media activity at the wheel, such as taking selfies.

“Driving after taking illegal drugs can have potentially fatal consequences for the driver, their passengers, and other road users,” said Ford Driving Skills for Life Manager Jim Graham. “We have already seen first-hand the eye-opening effect that our Drink Driving Suit has had on those who wear it behind the wheel, and are confident that our new Drug Driving Suit will have a similar impact.”

Further details about the Ford DSFL programme are available here https://forddsfl.co.uk

* http://www.druid-project.eu