January 7, 2011

Demand for sober drivers enjoyed a strong seasonal surge over Christmas and the New Year as Brits hatched cunning plans for getting royally plastered without becoming personally embroiled in the festive RTA stats.

But could it all have been in vain? Iggy Pop fronted insurance firm Swiftcover has revealed that drunken passengers are as dangerous as drunk drivers.

Swiftcover claims director Robin Reamer admits: “We’re familiar with drink-driving and the dangers it causes at this time of year, but there is a new danger on the road – the drunk passenger.” Exactly why drunk passengers didn’t exist before and what they are now doing on the road are unclear, but there’s obviously something very worrying going on here.

The time-saving motor insurance provider claims to have conducted research proving beyond any conceivable doubt that drunken passengers will cause more than 100,000 accidents and 650,000 near-misses this year.

Details on how they will achieve this are sketchy, but “grabbing the steering wheel” and “fiddling with the handbrake” have both been implicated. Copious vomiting has the potential both to distract the driver and to make the vehicle’s controls slippery and harder to operate safely. Singing loudly and attempting to straddle the driver in an amorous or simply convivial manner are among other potentially hazardous practices to watch out for in passengers under the influence.

Given these worrying threats, one can only assume that many of the estimated 35 million drunk passenger journeys made over the holiday period did not end well. Official figures are not yet available, but before the break Swiftycover estimated that 750,000 drivers would lose control due to drunken passengers.

Swifthalfcover’s research found that 18% of drunks in cars are sick, 43% sing at excessive volumes, and 32% turn the car stereo up too loud. You have been warned.

Switchcover turned to taxi drivers for some experienced advice on how handle drunks in cars. “Think about what’s on the radio,” suggested Jason, 31 from Liverpool. “Stick Radio 1 on and it’ll make people go crazy, but if you put Radio 4 on, it’ll have the opposite effect.”

Meanwhile cabbie Shafraz, 46, from Birmingham told Bankstone News “Introduce Sharia Law immediately. All alcohol must be banned. You know who has got it right? Saudi Arabia. Do you need a receipt?”

An alternative solution might be to stop using the type of cars that attract (potentially drunken) passengers and stick to things like (single seater) F1s, C5s or one of these.


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