Friday, February 1, 2013
Contact: Kathryn Henry (202) 366-9550
WASHINGTON – As Super Bowl Sunday approaches and football fans across the country prep for the big game, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is urging the public to celebrate responsibly and to never drive drunk.
According to agency statistics, alcohol-impaired crashes claimed a life every 53 minutes in 2011. On Super Bowl Sunday alone, 36 percent of fatalities from motor vehicle crashes were connected to drunk driving. NHTSA statistical data define Super Bowl Sunday as 6 a.m. Sunday to 5:59 a.m. on Monday.
Whether attending the game, watching at a sports bar or hosting a party, NHTSA reminds everyone that Fans Don't Let Fans Drive Drunk. Before choosing to drink, choose your team's MVP – a sober designated driver. NHTSA offers these additional safety tips:
- Designate your sober driver or have an alternate transportation plan before the party begins.
- If you don't have a designated driver, ask a sober friend for a ride home; call a cab, friend or family member to come and get you; or just stay where you are until you are sober.
- Use your community's sober ride program.
- Never let friends leave your sight if you think they are about to drive and have had too much to drink.
- Always buckle up – it's still your best defense against other drunk drivers.
If you are hosting a Super Bowl party:
- Remember, you can be held liable and prosecuted if someone you served ends up in a drunk-driving crash.
- Make sure all of your guests designate their sober drivers in advance, or help arrange alternate transportation.
- Serve lots of food and include lots of non-alcoholic beverages at the party.
- Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter of the game and begin serving coffee and dessert.
- Keep the numbers for local cab companies handy, and take the keys away from anyone who has had too much to drink.
According to NHTSA, 9,878 people were killed in drunk driving crashes in 2011. These alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities accounted for 31 percent of the total motor vehicle traffic fatalities in the United States. In addition, alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes was almost twice as high during the weekend (31%) than during weekdays (15%) and four times higher at night (36%) than during the day (8%).
For more information, please visit TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov.