Drunken passengers 'can be every bit as dangerous as drivers who drink'

Drunk car passengers can be as dangerous as drivers who drink, according to a survey.

As many as 76 per cent of car owners have driven drunken passengers home from parties, the poll by insurance company swiftcover.com found.

The survey showed that more than 100,000 accidents and 650,000 near misses a year are caused by drunk passengers.

Inebriated passengers can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicle, swerve or crash, while sometimes the drunks can grapple with the steering wheel or fiddle with the handbrake.

The poll of 1,048 drivers showed that 18 per cent of the drunks in cars had been sick, 43 per cent had sung loudly and 32 per cent had turned the car radio up to excessive volumes.

Robin Reames, claims director at swiftcover.com, said: "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.

"Drivers find it difficult to focus when travelling with drunken passengers and with the difficult weather conditions associated with this time of year, it's important for them to take note and be aware of what they may encounter."