An evaluation of the 'Skipper' designated driver program: Preliminary results

Watson, Barry C. & Watson, Angela (2008) An evaluation of the 'Skipper' designated driver program: Preliminary results. In High risk road users - motivating behaviour change: what works and what doesn't work? National Conference of the Australasian College of Road Safety and the Travelsafe Committee of the Queensland Parliament, 18-19 September 2008, Brisbane.


The general aim of designated driver programs is to reduce the level of drink driving by encouraging potential drivers to travel with a driver who has abstained from (or at least limited) consuming alcohol. Designated driver programs appear to be quite widespread around the world, however a limited number have been effectively evaluated. This paper reports the preliminary results from the outcome component of an evaluation of a designated driver program called 'Skipper', which was trialled in a provincial city in Queensland. In order to asses changes over time in self-reported designated driver awareness and behaviour, as well as drinking and drink driving behaviour, surveys were conducted three weeks prior to (baseline) and four months following (follow-up) the commencement of the trial. The sample comprised 413 individuals from representative drinking venues in the 'intervention area' (202 baseline; 211 follow-up) and 401 individuals from a 'comparison area' (203 baseline; 199 follow-up). The preliminary results indicate that awareness of the program in the intervention area was quite high four months following its introduction. The results also suggest that the 'Skipper' program and the related publicity had positive impacts on behaviour with there being an increase in the proportion of people participating in designated driver as a passenger and a tendency for those who act as designated drivers to do so more often. In addition, there was no evidence of an increase in alcohol consumption among the passengers of designated drivers compared to what otherwise may have been the case. It is less clear at this stage whether the 'Skipper' program has impacted on other behaviours of interest. Suggestions for further research and program improvement are discussed as well as limitations of the research.

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ID Code: 15405
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: N.B. author name change from Angela Nielson to Angela Watson in 2009
Additional URLs:
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIAL WORK (160700) > Social Program Evaluation (160703)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Preventive Medicine (111716)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > TRANSPORTATION AND FREIGHT SERVICES (150700) > Road Transportation and Freight Services (150703)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 31 Oct 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2013 02:56

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