An increasing number of motorists are getting behind the wheel despite believing they are over the legal drunk drive limit, according to a new survey.

In the fifth annual Road Safety Monitor (RSM) on alcohol-impaired driving – released by The Traffic Injury Research Foundation USA (TIRF USA), in partnership with TIRF in Canada – the percentage of respondents who reported driving when they thought they were over the legal limit increased from 11.6 percent in 2018 to 20 percent in 2019.

The figure is the highest prevalence reported during the past five years of data collection. In addition, motorists who admitted driving impaired often or very often was also the highest reported during the past five years increasing from 3.4 percent in 2018 to 11.1 percent in 2019.

“While more data are needed to monitor trends, the significant increase in self-reported alcohol-impaired driving is a concern,” said Ward Vanlaar, Chief Operating Officer at the TIRF Canada.

“It is an early warning that the number of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in 2019 may increase without continued and increased efforts.”

The study also found 60 percent of US drivers were very or extremely concerned about alcohol-impaired driving in 2019 and 78 per cent of respondents said alcohol-impaired driving was a serious road safety problem, up from 74 percent in 2018.

The RSM was put together following an online survey completed by 2,526 drivers. The full survey results can be viewed here.