There has been a reduction in the number of car accidents since longer licensing hours were introduced at pubs and bars across the country, a new study suggests.
Economists at Lancaster University Management School said police reports show crashes are down by 13% a month since the reform of licensing laws in 2005, that allowed pubs to stay open beyond 11pm.
Why are there fewer car accidents today?
Various reasons have been put forward for the link between later drinking hours and fewer car accident claims, with experts suggesting people may be less likely to drink at speed to “beat the clock” or nip out for a quick drink before driving.
They also believe drinkers may now be more likely to take taxis home as a result of the extended licensing hours.
Any reduction in road deaths or road traffic injuries may be in large part due to people leaving bars over a more spread out time period, as the figures suggest the biggest improvements have appeared during peak times.
The researchers identified the most obvious reductions during the so-called “danger periods” of the early hours of Saturday and Sunday mornings – between 11pm and 3am – when there was a 23.6% fall.
They also discovered that the most significant reduction occurred in road traffic accidents involving at least one driver aged between 18 and 25.
With more than 60% of pubs having adopted later licensing hours since the change, it may become more clear why there has been such a reduction in late-night car accidents.
Late-night pub openings ‘cut road accidents’
In his concluding comments researcher Dr Collin Green points out that supporters of the licensing hours change believed it could change people’s attitudes to drinking and reduce social problems associated with alcohol.
“While we have examined only one of those problems, our evidence does suggest that later closing hours are associated with decreases in automobile accidents,” he said.
“This decrease has been concentrated among the young, those most likely to be influenced and within the hours of the week where behaviour is most likely to be influenced.”
Source: Daily Mail
Date Published: August 21, 2013
Author: David Brown