17:00 PM

Have a Plan for Getting Home After the "Big Game"

Whether you go to the game or a watch party, have a game plan for getting home safely

Whether you watch "The Big Game" in the Tampa Bay area, or at a watch-party somewhere else, 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 Mark Jenkins, spokesman, 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 make the wrong game time decision."

If football puns don't get your attention, perhaps these statistics from the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will. In 2019, there were 423 impaired driving crashes in Florida, involving drivers under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Of those crashes, 346 people were killed and 320 were injured.

"Drivers in the Tampa area should be especially cautious," Jenkins continued. "Increased traffic is expected for 'The Big Game' with more people on four wheels, two wheels or two feet. So watch out for pedestrians and bicyclists, and remember a distracted driver can be just as dangerous as an impaired one."

According to Florida crash data from 2019:

  • There were 9,736 crashes involving a pedestrian – resulting in 734 deaths.
  • There were 6,664 crashes involving a bicycle – resulting in 156 deaths.
  • There were 8,896 motorcycle crashes – resulting in 550 deaths.

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.