Football season in Pennsylvania is very popular, and watching the game or tailgating often includes drinking alcohol. For those watching numerous games, this can result in hours of drinking. Unfortunately, some choose to get behind the wheel after drinking too much, and this puts other people on the road in danger. Because drunk driving accidents tend to rise during this time, it is important to remember how alcohol affects driving and to always assign a designated driver.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an average of 30 people each day are the victims of fatal accidents due to drunk driving, and operating a vehicle after drinking at a game increases the chances of a crash. It is illegal for anyone to drive if they have a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher, but even one drink can begin to affect one’s ability to drive. Some of the early effects of alcohol include a lapse in judgment, less alertness, difficulty focusing eyes and reduced coordination. At illegal limits, more pronounced effects include a lowered ability to brake in a timely manner, loss of speed control and difficulty controlling the vehicle.
According to MADD, the organization works with the NFL to promote safe and sober driving. Volunteers attend games and encourage the use of a designated driver, and other prevention strategies include game day initiatives and awareness programs. Specific NFL teams also participate in community events to help increase awareness and inspire fans to make responsible decisions such as use public transportation or rideshare programs.