The best goal is getting home safely
Adelaide Football Club (AFC) Captain Nathan van Berlo has thrown his support behind the Motor Accident Commission’s (MAC) push to promote road safety on the eve of the 2012 AFL finals series.
The Crows captain said that it’s no secret that South Australians are passionate football supporters and when local teams are playing in the AFL finals series the State is gripped by football mania.
“The finals gives people the chance to get together at the game, in their local pubs, clubs and at family BBQ’s to enjoy the fanfare. Obviously it’s during these types of festivities we can become distracted and complacent on the road,” Nathan said.
“We all understand that alcohol is often intertwined with enjoying the footy, but the truth is, alcohol and driving just do not mix.
“An act of selfishness can destroy lives and while no one wants to dampen the football spirit, it is crucial that as a community we understand the dangers of drink driving.
"If one of your mates died or got badly injured in a car crash, it would just about be the worst possible feeling you could have, and you'd never get over it.
“Looking after your mates is key to being a successful team – on and off the field. Being a real mate is about encouraging them not to take risks on the road. The best goal is getting home safely.
“It’s a pretty simple message. If you’re planning on drinking, just don’t take the car,” Nathan said.
MAC Chief Executive Officer, Jerome Maguire, said, thousands of people look up to footballers and, as a football fan himself, he’s delighted that the AFC and Nathan is helping MAC to get these important messages across.
“Many people continue to ignore the clear dangers of mixing alcohol and driving, and continue to drive with lower, but illegal, blood alcohol concentrations (BAC),” Mr Maguire said.
“The fact is that impairment starts after only a few drinks. At.05 or just over, your reaction time and judgment is significantly reduced. The likelihood of a crash is double at .05 and four times at .08.
“The impairment in skill is further compounded by the fact that drink drivers are more likely to speed, less likely to wear a seatbelt and less likely to take steps to prevent fatigue – another road safety concern during these times.
If you're planning a footy road trip in the coming weeks, plan rest stops along the way. Avoiding rest breaks means you’re taking big risks on the road.
“Planning a 15 minute rest break every two hours is the key to preventing fatigue and enjoying the drive. You obviously won't save time, but you might save your life,” Mr Maguire said.
Each year approximately 30% of driver / rider fatalities and 20% of serious injuries have a BAC of 0.05+. Fatigue is estimated to be a contributing factor in approximately 30% of fatal crashes and up to 15% of serious injuries.