Former Formula 1 World Champion Nigel Mansell CBE has given his backing to road safety charity IAM RoadSmart’s Christmas drink drive campaign, which urges no alcohol at all if you are driving during the festive season.

The charity’s campaign also encourages groups of friends to reward their designated driver as a true ‘hero of the road’ this season.

Nigel, who has been President of IAM RoadSmart for 10 years, says that as a Formula 1 driver he couldn’t have achieved the success he had without the backing of his team – and that similarly, a group of friends need to work as a team and make sure the designated driver feels a part of the evening. In this way, there is no temptation to down a swift pint and risk the lives of everyone in the vehicle.

IAM RoadSmart wants to remind everyone of some of the shocking statics that surround drink driving:

  • There were 35,000 drink drive offences recorded in the first nine months of 2015
  • Having alcohol in your system at just below the limit increases your chances of dying in a crash six fold
  • The total number of drink drive related accidents of all severities were 5,620 in 2014

Nigel, who won 31 Formula 1 races for Ferrari and Williams, said: “Often racing drivers are seen as heroes. But to me, the real heroes of the road are those who make sure their friends and family get home safe and sound during the festive season.

“So let’s make sure these real heroes of the road are rewarded. Treat them to a meal or their soft drinks for the evening. And don’t forget to take part in IAM RoadSmart’s designated driver competition for a chance of winning a very special prize.”

To give that hero designated driver and their guest a pat on the back, IAM RoadSmart is offering afternoon tea at The Savoy in London as a competition prize – all entrants have to do is tweet a picture to the IAM RoadSmart Twitter page using the hashtag #herooftheroad, showing your designated driver being celebrated by his or her group of friends.

Nigel added: “Let’s make this festive season one to remember for everyone. And let’s show some love for our designated drivers, who all make sure we are safe on the roads this month.”

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