electronic sign on the freeway

Whether you’re hosting a Super Bowl viewing party or attending one, everyone has an important job: Help keep drunk drivers off the road so we can all make it home safely on game night. During Super Bowl LVIII, Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital and Safe Kids Inland Empire are teaming up with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to remind football fans that Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk.  

This year’s Super Bowl is on Sunday, February 11. Get ahead of the game and create your game plan now. If you’re going out to a Super Bowl party and you plan to drink alcohol, make sure you plan for a designated driver to get you home safely at the end of the night. If you’re hosting a party, prepare plenty of food and nonalcoholic drink options for your guests, especially for the designated drivers. If you’re a designated driver, be the night’s MVP and keep that commitment front and center. 

More than 13,000 people are killed in drunk-driving crashes annually in the United States, and one person is killed around every 39 minutes. Fatalities in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes have increased from 14% to 31% in recent years, according to NHTSA. 

“When looking at the statistics, children are less likely to be buckled in safely when the parent driving is impaired,” says Michelle Parker, Safe Kids Coordinator at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital. “This puts the child at great risk for injury or death. The Super Bowl is when many people gather to enjoy some good football and cheer on a team. Your child is counting on you to bring them home safely. Have fun, but don’t risk it! It’s not worth it.”

Drunk driving can have a range of consequences, including the possibility of causing a traumatic crash. These crashes could cause you, someone you love, or a stranger to suffer serious injuries or even death.  

“As we approach Super Bowl Sunday, it’s important to know that the burden of drunk driving is not just felt by the drivers, but also the children that may be accompanying them on the road,” says Harman Chawla, MD, medical director of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital. “Unfortunately, we have to witness the tragedies of impaired drivers and the horrific consequences to our young patients. Being proactive about a staying sober can be the difference between life and death. Enjoy the game responsibly this year.”

Host a Winning Party 

If you’re hosting a party for this year’s Super Bowl, prepare plenty of snacks and nonalcoholic drinks for your guests and the designated drivers. Ask your guests to designate their sober drivers in advance. Remind drinking guests that they have a long evening ahead and encourage them to pace themselves, eat food, and drink plenty of water.   

Have a Game Plan 

There are many options to help impaired drivers get home safely, such as designating a sober driver or calling a taxi or rideshare.