Safe Driving: The Only Sure March Madness Pick

Avoid Distracted Driving and Buzzed Driving

March Madness is the buzz around town and on social media now, but remember to keep the buzz out of your car.

Distracted Driving

Before picking up your phone while driving to check the latest scores or your bracket, know that 3,166 people died in distracted-driving crashes in 2017. Yes, simply glancing at your phone for a few seconds while driving is considered distracted driving. Other distracting activities for drivers, according to NHTSA, include talking on your phone or to others in your vehicle, texting or streaming on your phone, eating and drinking, or fiddling with the radio, entertainment or navigation system. #justdrive

Drunk Driving

If you’re out watching one of the many games over the three-week tournament, know that Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. On average, one alcohol-impaired-driving fatality occurred every 48 minutes in 2017; a total of 10,874 people died in drunk-driving crashes. Even a small amount of alcohol can affect a person quickly; for example, someone with a blood alcohol concentration of .02 can have some loss of judgment. Learn more about the effects of blood alcohol concentration.

If you’re going out to watch a game, consider these tips:

  • Before drinking, choose a sober friend as a designated driver.
  • Use NHTSA's SaferRide app to call a taxi or a friend. The app is available on Google Play for Android devices and at the iTunes store for Apple devices.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, pull over somewhere safe, and call law enforcement immediately.

If you’re hosting a party where there’s alcohol, be sure to offer non-alcoholic drink options, and make sure all guests leave with a sober driver.

Drug-Impaired Driving

Drugs, even some prescription and over-the-counter medicines, can negatively affect your driving without you even realizing it. Impaired drivers can’t accurately assess their own impairment, and should never drive after taking or using any medication or substances that could affect their driving ability.

Though your March Madness bracket will likely get busted, don’t you get busted because of your actions behind the wheel. If you find yourself asking the question, “Am I okay to drive?” then you already have your answer: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.

The Effects of Blood Alcohol Concentration

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) in g/dLTypical Effects
 
.02Some loss of judgment; relaxation, slight body warmth, altered mood
.05 Exaggerated behavior, may have loss of small-muscle control (e.g., focusing your eyes), impaired judgment, usually good feeling, lowered alertness, release of inhibition
.08 Muscle coordination becomes poor (e.g., balance, speech, vision, reaction time, and hearing), harder to detect danger; judgment, self-control, reasoning, and memory are impaired
.10 Clear deterioration of reaction time and control, slurred speech, poor coordination, and slowed thinking
.15 Far less muscle control than normal, vomiting may occur (unless this level is reached slowly or a person has developed a tolerance for alcohol), major loss of balance
The Effects of Blood Alcohol Concentration