By Debbie Hersman
Sunday, family and friends will gather around the television to watch one of the biggest sports spectacles in America – the Super Bowl. But after the next champion is crowned and the parties are over, some will get behind the wheel after having too much to drink. Unfortunately, these celebrations too often end in tragedy.
Each year, about 10,000 people die in traffic crashes involving alcohol-impaired drivers. That would be the equivalent of one out of every eight spectators sitting in the Superdome Sunday. And like Halloween and New Year’s Eve, Super Bowl Sunday often comes with an uptick in impaired driving crashes.
When we watch football, it’s easy to think of the players as invincible. Similarly, characters on television shows, in commercials and in movies often take risks and make it look easy or glamorous. In real life, though, we need to understand the difference between fiction and reality. Risk-taking that puts other’s lives in jeopardy is never a good idea. This is especially true of driving after drinking. We all need to make responsible decisions when we get behind the wheel, not only for our own safety, but for the well-being of our passengers and others sharing the roadway.
So this weekend, plan ahead. Make the choice not to drink and drive. If you’re going to drink, identify a designated driver or use cabs or public transportation. Follow these simple and safe practices, and regardless of the outcome of the game, you will be a winner.