17:00 PM

Watching the "Big Game" Iowa? AAA's 4-Down Game Plan for Getting Home Safely

Driving impaired endangers everyone on the roadway

If planning to watch "The Big Game" away from home, 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 Meredith Mitts, spokesperson, 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."

If football puns don't get your attention, perhaps these statistics from the Iowa Department of Transportation will. In 2020, there were 2,654 impaired driving crashes in Iowa, involving drivers under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Of those crashes, 99 people were killed and 974 were injured.

"Between the bad weather forecasted for this weekend, and the after-effects of "The Big Game", it is more important than ever to watch out for others on and around the roadways." Mitts continued. "A distracted driver can be just as dangerous as an impaired one. If you plan to be out and about this Sunday, be sure to slow down, buckle up, eliminate distractions, and plan a sober ride home if drinking."

According to Iowa crash data from 2020:

  • There were 7,664 distracted-driving related crashes – resulting in 19 deaths and 1,327 injuries.
  • There were 17,261 speed-related crashes – resulting in 157 deaths and 3,477 injuries.
  • There were 387 crashes involving a pedestrian – resulting in 27 deaths and 231 injuries.

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.