PIERRE, S.D. – Grim Jim Reaper may look intimidating, but really, he’s just a bumbling lost soul that can’t make any headway in South Dakota.

Jim Reaper appears in the latest South Dakota Office of Highway Safety Super Bowl commercials that debut during this Sunday’s  game. The theme is driver safely.

“The commercials are humorous, but they also have a serious tone,” says Highway Safety Director Lee Axdahl. “We always say that death rides with you on the road. We want people to understand that being a safe driver at all times is important.”

In the commercials, Jim Reaper is dressed in black, carries a scythe and tries to get drivers to do unsafe things such as not wear seatbelts or motorcycle helmets, become distracted while driving and drive after having one too many drinks. At the end of each commercial, the person does the right thing, foiling the Reaper’s plans.

“We may all have been tempted to cut a corner or two as a driver sometime in our lives,” Axdahl says. “But these commercials are designed to make you stop and think. It only takes one bad decision that results in a permanent loss of a loved one or serious injury to you or others.”

While two commercials will air during the Super Bowl, Axdahl says there are eight commercials total that will be used throughout the year.

The Office of Highway Safety is part of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.

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