17:00 PM


Driving impaired endangers everyone on the roadway

NASHVILLE, Tenn., (February 5, 2021) – Whether you watch "The Big Game" at home, at a watch-party, or somewhere in between, AAA urges drivers to have a game plan for getting home safely.

"Regardless of who wins the game, if you drive impaired, you're a big loser," said Megan Cooper, spokeswoman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. "The penalty for driving under the influence could be someone's life. Due to safety concerns related to the Covid-19 pandemic, AAA is not currently offering the Tow to Go program. So if you plan to party this weekend, make your plans now for a sober ride home, so you don't have to make the wrong game-time decision."

Increased enforcement will be seen on Tennessee roadways this weekend in an effort to crack down on impaired drivers.

"The Tennessee Highway Patrol will have an increased presence of troopers patrolling during the Super Bowl weekend," said Colonel Matt Perry. "We are going to focus our patrol efforts to remove impaired drivers from the road. If you drink, the best play of the game will be for you to hand off your car keys to a designated driver. Please don't drive impaired; plan for a safe and sober ride."

"If your Super Bowl celebration includes alcohol, make sure you have a game plan for a sober ride home," said Director Buddy Lewis of the Tennessee Highway Safety Office. "If you choose to drink and drive, you can lose your license, your freedom, your life, or the life of someone else. Obey the law. Don't take the risk."

If football puns don't get your attention, perhaps these statistics from the TN Department of Safety and Homeland Security will. In 2020, there were 7,175 crashes involving drivers who had used alcohol or drugs. In those crashes, 366 people were killed and 4,531 were injured.

"Drivers shouldn't abandon their safe driving game plans once this weekend is over," continued Cooper. "It's not okay that we ended 2020 with 95 more total fatalities than we did in 2019. These are life-saving habits that should be put into play for the rest of the year."

According to Tennessee crash data from 2020:

  • There were 5,100 crashes involving an unbelted occupant – resulting in 412 fatalities.
  • There were 7,250 crashes involving a speeding driver – resulting in 186 fatalities.
  • There were 20,415 crashes involving a distracted driver – resulting in 69 fatalities.

AAA's 4-Down Game Plan for Driving Safe This Weekend

  • Identify a sober ride home before the festivities kick off.
  • Wear your seatbelt every time you're in a vehicle.
  • Minimize distractions while behind the wheel. Focus on the road, not your phone.
  • Allow extra time to arrive at your destination. Mistakes happen when you're in a rush.

About AAA - The Auto Club Group
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America with more than 14 million members across 14 U.S. states, the province of Quebec and two U.S. territories. ACG and its affiliates provide members with roadside assistance, insurance products, banking and financial services, travel offerings and more. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 60 million members in the United States and Canada. AAA's mission is to protect and advance freedom of mobility and improve traffic safety. For more information, get the AAA Mobile app, visit AAA.com, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.