In advance of Super Bowl XLVIII, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has teamed up with Tennessee Titans Tight End Delanie Walker, named the 2013 Titans Walter Payton Man of the Year, to urge football fans to have a plan for how they’ll get home from Super Bowl parties with a non-drinking designated driver, MADD said in a news release.
“On Super Bowl Sunday, the biggest win of the night for MADD will be knowing that fans have made plans for a safe way home before the game even starts,” said MADD National President Jan Withers.
Super Bowl Sunday ranks as one of the most dangerous times of the year for drunk driving deaths. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 43 percent of traffic fatalities on Super Bowl Sunday (and the early hours of the following morning) in 2012 were caused by drunk driving, compared to an average of 31 percent for the year as a whole, according to the news release.
“This weekend marks the one-year anniversary since my aunt and uncle were hit and killed by a drunk driver who was leaving a Super Bowl party,” said Walker, who now volunteers with MADD to prevent others from experiencing a similar tragedy. “Just as you’ll plan what team colors to wear and what food to bring, remember to add a non-drinking driver to your Super Bowl party checklist.”
Walker’s aunt and uncle, Alice (Peaches) and Bryan Young, were driving home after watching their nephew play in Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans. They were stopped on the side of the road when they were rear-ended by a drunk driver. Both vehicles caught fire, and Alice and Bryan died at the scene.
On Super Bowl Sunday, and throughout the year, MADD encourages football fans ‘to play the most important position in the NFL: the designated driver.’ In fact, MADD’s game-day program with the NFL helped teams increase their designated driver sign-ups by 7 percent in 2013.
The game-day program enhances teams’ existing designated driver programs with a pre-game MADD presence outside the stadiums, distribution of information cards inside, and an audio PSA. The game-day designated driver program has grown from two pilot teams in 2010 to a total of 14 teams in the 2013 season, including the: San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals, San Diego Chargers, Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, Carolina Panthers, Oakland Raiders and Tennessee Titans.
For more information about MADD’s partnership with the NFL, visit www.madd.org/nfl.