ATLANTA (January 31, 2019) — As Super Bowl partygoers make plans for watching the big game on Sunday, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is urging everyone to put choosing a non-drinking, sober driver at the top of their checklist.
Super Bowl Sunday continually ranks as one of the most dangerous times of the year for drunk driving deaths. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 47 percent of all traffic fatalities on Super Bowl Sunday (and the early hours of the following morning) in 2017 were caused by drunk driving, compared to an average of 29 percent for the year.
“Whether you’re lucky enough to watch the game live in Atlanta or with friends or family closer to home, the most important thing you can do is designate your non-drinking driver before you leave home, whether it’s a taxi, a bus, public transportation or Uber,” said MADD National President Helen Witty. “It’s so simple. If you drink don’t drive. If you drive, don’t drink.”
In the lead up to game day, MADD Georgia staff and volunteers will deliver the message to never drink and drive to fans at the Super Bowl Experience this week, and will be at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Super Bowl Sunday.
“MADD is in Atlanta this week and on game day to make sure people remember to plan ahead for their ride to the game and home after the game. My family knows all too well that one person’s decision to drive drunk can change many lives forever,” said Natasha Mitchell, whose 19-year-old son Michael Kennedy was killed by a drunk driver in 2012. “We want everyone to have fun, but to also have a plan. With all the options that are available for a safe, non-drinking driver, there are no excuses for ever driving drunk.”
On Super Bowl Sunday in 2017, 61 people were killed by drunk driving — 47 percent of all crashes on that day. Last year, drunk driving tragically claimed the life of Indianapolis Colts player Edwin Jackson and Uber driver Jeffrey Monroe on Interstate 70 in Indiana. Uber driver Blair Edmonds was also killed in a separate crash in Indiana on the same day.
Drunk driving remains the leading killer on our nation’s roadways, claiming 30 lives every day. In 2017, 10,874 people were killed in drunk driving crashes, a 9 percent increase since 2014, when the number of drunk driving deaths dropped below 10,000. Holidays and special events like the Super Bowl are especially dangerous because of the increase in parties and number of people on the road.
MADD has joined with Uber to promote safe rides home throughout the year and during high-risk periods. Through the ReasonsToRide campaign, MADD and Uber remind the public that there are absolutely no excuses to drive impaired and endanger others on the roads. For more information, or to take the pledge to designate a non-drinking driver anytime plans include alcohol, visit www.reasonstoride.org.
MADD also offers the following tips before heading out to watch the Super Bowl:
- Designate a non-drinking driver before you go out, whether it’s a non-drinking friend or family member, public transportation, taxi or rideshare apps like Uber.
- Save the numbers of local transportation options in your phone.
- Make a big weekend of it and get a car service or limousine.
- Never get in a car with a driver who has been drinking.
- Don’t provide alcohol to anyone under age 21.
For more tips and resources, visit www.madd.org.
About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD has helped to save nearly 380,000 lives, reduce drunk driving deaths by more than 50 percent and promote designating a non-drinking driver. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® calls for law enforcement support, ignition interlocks for all offenders and advanced vehicle technology. MADD has provided supportive services to nearly one million drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge through local victim advocates and the 24-Hour Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP. Visit www.madd.org or call 1-877-ASK-MADD.