This may seem a bit hyperbolic, but designated drivers are incredibly important people who are taking on a responsibility for the greater good. Any designated driver is making sure that his or her friends have a safe ride home, and at the same time they are ensuring that people who would be on the road at the same time as this group of people are protected from a potentially intoxicated driver if the designated driver weren’t present.

It’s a big responsibility, and it wouldn’t be a stretch to assume that most younger people scoff at the idea of a designated driver. “I don’t want to do that, I just want to have fun” is what you may imagine most young people saying.

However, a new survey shows that the perception of designated drivers is changing — for the better. About half of the respondents to a Mothers Against Drunk Driving survey who were at least 21 years of age said they were a designated driver at least once in the past year. 39 percent of respondents in this age group also said that they used a designated driver in the past year.

All of it points to increased awareness of designated drivers, and that people are more willing to use one (or be one) when the time calls for it. This is a pleasant development, as drunk driving can ruin lives in numerous ways — the victims, the offender, and the families of anyone involved in a drunk driving incident or accident are all dramatically affected.

Source: Public News Service, “Survey Indicates a Shift in Perceptions About Drunk Driving,” Nov. 18, 2014