NASHVILLE – As many as 300,000 spectators are expected in downtown Nashville when the National Football League (NFL) holds its annual draft from April 25 – 27, 2019, in Music City. The event, which is free and open to the public, will bring worldwide attention to Tennessee. To assist those who might be attending the event, the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI) is offering safety, insurance, and scam prevention tips.
OUTDOOR EVENT SAFETY. Attending an outdoor event with thousands of people creates unique safety challenges. Remember these tips to stay safe:
• Familiarize yourself with the locations of medical and safety tents.
• Know what items are and are not prohibited before you arrive. Information about the event can be found here.
• Use the buddy system. If attending with a friend or a family member, designate a person who you can trust to watch out for you and vice versa.
• Identify a place to meet friends in case you get split up or an emergency occurs.
• Report any suspicious persons to a member of security.
• Never pick up any packages or items that do not belong to you. Report any suspicious packages to a member of security.
HOTEL SAFETY. Staying in a hotel brings its own set of safety challenges. If you choose to stay in a hotel while enjoying the NFL Draft festivities, remember:
• Read the escape plan posted in your room. These often can be found on your hotel room’s door. If one is not posted in your room, request one from the front desk.
• Choose a hotel or vacation rental that is equipped with both smoke alarms and fire sprinklers.*
• If you hear an alarm, leave immediately, closing all doors behind you.
DRIVER SAFETY. With hundreds of thousands of people expected on the roads during the three-day event, consumers are urged to take these extra precautions to ensure their safety:
• Put the vehicle in park before sending a text or setting navigation services.
• Never drink and drive. Don't get behind the wheel while impaired — whether it's due to exhaustion, medicine, alcohol or recreational drugs.
• When you’re behind the wheel of a vehicle, don’t use your phone. That means no texts, no social media, no videos, no photos or anything – except driving.
• Obey speed limits, and keep your eyes on the road.
• Keep an eye out for pedestrians and scooters.
SCOOTER SHARING. Electric scooter sharing services are an increasingly common form of transportation in downtown Nashville and elsewhere. If you’re planning on using a scooter, remember:
• Always wear a helmet.
• Check your insurance policies to determine whether you are covered. Automobile insurance generally omits liability coverage for motor vehicles with fewer than four wheels, and it's unlikely to apply to scooter rentals. Although most homeowners policies provide some liability coverage even while you are away from your residence, it may be limited or excluded because the scooter is a rental.
• Riding motorized scooters on sidewalks is illegal in Nashville. Always operate the scooter in the bike lane or right-hand lane when possible.
• Never use your phone or camera while operating a scooter. Always pay attention to the road and keep both hands on the scooter at all times.
AVOIDING THEFT. While most people attending the NFL Draft are here with good intentions, a few bad actors could try to take advantage of you and ruin the fun. Remember these tips:
• Avoid bringing jewelry and valuable around large crowds.
• Keep cash, wallets, and credit cards out of back pockets.
• Do not leave valuables in your car.
• Be on the lookout for credit card skimmers that scammers may have installed on gas pumps. To check for a skimmer, wiggle the card reader. If you find or suspect a pump has a skimmer in place, notify the cashier and report it to the police.
DON’T FALL FOR RENTAL SCAMS. Rentals may be a great alternative instead of hotels, especially during special events. If you choose to stay in a short-term rental, remember:
• Check reviews from previous stays to see what other travelers had to say.
• Check the address to verify where the rental is located and that it matches up with what they’re advertising.
• If details about the rental are vague and the property owner is hesitant or refuses to provide
more information, consider looking for other options.
• If you fall victim to a short-term rental scam, report it to your bank or credit card company immediately and notify the vacation rental website.
*The Hotel and Motel Fire Safety Act of 1990 was enacted by Congress to save lives and protect property by promoting fire and life safety in hotels, motels and other places of public accommodation. Fire safety in places of public accommodation is encouraged through creation of a National Master List (NML) of hotel and motel properties that voluntarily comply with the provisions of the Act. The U.S. Fire Administration encourages the traveling public to use the list when making reservations for lodging accommodations, be they for business or pleasure. To search the list, go to http://apps.usfa.fema.gov/hotel/.
About the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance: TDCI protects the interests of consumers while providing fair, efficient oversight and a level field of competition for a broad array of industries and professionals doing business in Tennessee. Our divisions include the State Fire Marshal’s Office, Insurance, Securities, Consumer Affairs, Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy, Regulatory Boards, Tennessee Emergency Communications Board, Tennessee Corrections Institute, and TennCare Oversight.
To check a license of a professional regulated by the Department, go to http://verify.tn.gov/.