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MAPFRE February 2020Sports fans and epic television commercial lovers nationwide know the Big Game is happening this Sunday, February 2nd, 2020. The biggest annual football event brings in almost 100 million viewers each year, many of whom hold viewing parties at home or at local sports bars.

And although New England may feel disheartened this particular year, an increase in celebratory impaired driving is still expected for this weekend.

Data from Alcohol Monitoring Systems shows that drinking violations by repeat drunk drivers ordered to stay sober jumps an average of 22% nationwide on Game Day, compared to the usual violation rates on a Sunday. Impaired driving is a serious problem with serious consequences. In 2018, there were 10,511 people killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for 29% of all crash fatalities. Don’t ruin your night, or someone else’s, by becoming another statistic.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants you to remember that Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk. If you plan on drinking during this event, plan ahead and designate a sober driver. If you will be hosting a viewing party, make sure that all of your guests get home safely, and take the keys away from anyone you feel may be unsafe to drive.

As always, it is important to be aware of any safety hazards on the roadways this weekend. Massachusetts has seen its fair share of unpredictable weather this season, so be sure to stay up to date of any inclement weather, including snow, if you plan to travel for the Big Game. If you find yourself in need of assistance, the MassDOT Highway Assistance Program sponsored by MAPFRE Insurance is here to help with fixing minor mechanical problems, flat tires, fuel shortages, and emergency situations. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, “show some love” if you’ve been helped by the Highway Assistance Program. Share your experience on social media using the hashtag #ThanksMAPFRE. You can also submit a survey about your experience here.

The Highway Assistance Program drivers monitor some of the state’s busiest highways and turnpikes around Metro Boston, Worcester, Springfield and Cape Cod (seasonal). The Highway Assistance Patrol covers 13 major state roadways and interstates, the Emergency Service Patrol covers the Mass Pike (I-90) from New York to Boston and the Incident Response Operators cover the Metropolitan Highway System and tunnels. The Highway Assistance Patrol is in service Monday–Friday between the hours of 6 a.m.–10 a.m. and 3 p.m.–7 p.m. During holidays, there are extended routes in heavy traffic areas. On I-90, and in Boston’s tunnel system, assistance is provided 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. Enjoy the Big Game and drive safe!

Written By Patrick McDonald, CPCU, CEO, Northeast Region, MAPFRE Insurance

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