Women’s Drinking and Driving Rates Rise

Posted on December 31st, 2011

More women than ever are drinking and then getting behind the wheel, says a recent study – and they may be doing it as a reaction to rising stress levels associated with balancing work and parenting.

During the past decade, the number of females who drink and drive has gone up at least 36 percent in America, says a recent article, based on research from the Canadian-based Traffic Injury Research Foundation.

New information is also emerging about who the women are that drink alcohol and then drive while impaired. Women who drink and drive tend to be older than men who engage in the behavior, and they also hold higher educational levels. However, the female who drinks and drives may be more likely to earn less money than males and also hold most of the responsibility for caring for the children.

The research study also expands upon beliefs about mothers and drunk driving, suggesting that some parents consume alcohol while supervising their children as a way to manage the stress.

Experts note that the overall stress factors in the lives of women continues to increase as more balance careers with numerous errands and family transportation needs.

Binge drinking may also be rising among women and contributing to the levels of drinking and driving, say other research studies. In some cases, women drink and drive with their children along in the vehicle.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, around 60 percent of women in the U.S. consume alcohol. Of those who drink regularly, 13 percent consume more than seven alcoholic beverages weekly. Women may be at higher risk for problem drinking if they have a family history of alcoholism or depression, or are living with a spouse or partner who also drinks.

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