As Virginians prepare to cheer on their favored team to victory Sunday during Super Bowl XLIV, they are reminded to also make travel safety a priority, especially with anticipated road and weather conditions.
Residents are still advised to postpone travel plans as roads will still be affected Sunday by the current winter storm. For those who do choose to drive to and from a Super Bowl party, they are reminded to be prepared, give plenty of time to reach one’s destination, and to never drink and drive.
“Drivers need to weigh the risks when deciding if attending a Super Bowl party is really worth a crash or getting stuck,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Our greatest concern is what road conditions will be like following the game as temperatures drop and wet, slushy roadways turn icy.”
“No matter what road and weather conditions may be like Sunday, the most important decision individuals must make is to not drink and drive,” said Colonel Flaherty.
In 2008, fatalities in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes nationwide accounted for 32 percent of the total motor vehicle traffic fatalities. During the 2009 Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 3, 2009, to 5:59 am Feb. 4, 2009), 49 percent of the fatalities occurred in crashes where a driver or motorcycle rider had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of .08 or higher.
Nationwide in 2008, over 11,000 people died in highway crashes involving an alcohol impaired driver or motorcycle rider with an illegal BAC level of .08 or higher.
If you are hosting a party:
- Remember, you can be held liable and prosecuted if someone you served ends up in an impaired-driving crash.
- Make sure all of your guests designate their sober drivers in advance, or help arrange ride-sharing with other sober drivers.
- 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 is thinking of driving while impaired.
If you are attending a party or watching at a sports bar or restaurant:
- Designate your sober driver before the party begins and leave your car keys at home.
- Avoid drinking too much alcohol too fast. Pace yourselfâ€”eat enough food, take breaks, and alternate with non-alcoholic drinks.
- 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 and sleep it off until you are sober.