The aftermath of the Super Bowl is not always about celebrating the winning team. For some individuals it is about coming to grips with the devastating effects of drinking and driving after the game. A sad fact that surveys show, is becoming a predictable pattern.
As the highest level of professional football in the United States, the Super Bowl typically ends with millions of fans gathering in private homes and at sports bars for the grand finale. Preparations preceding the games too often include stocking up on alcoholic drinks as the chaser for chips, dips, hot dogs, and burgers. In most instances, there is a significant difference in the alcohol to food ratio with alcohol being the greater. As the Super Bowl goes on, so does the drinking, which often continues long after the food has been consumed.
In the last five years, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been tracking the number of alcohol-related incidents that occur following the Super Bowl between 5:00 pm on Sunday and 4:00 am on Monday morning. The figures have been so alarming that it has begun to taint, at least for some, the biggest sports event in America. According to NHTSA statistics, at least 40% of vehicular crashes with fatalities that occurred on Super Bowl Sunday alone, were directly related to drunk driving. Crash data analyzed in 2010 also revealed that every 51 minutes an alcohol impaired driver was responsible for a crash that claimed at least one life that year on Super Bowl Sunday.
For southern California residents, the numbers are particularly concerning according to road safety officials from the Auto Club of Southern California. When compared with other Sundays, crash data for Los Angeles was 57% higher on Super Bowl Sunday, while in the city of San Diego, crashes causing death or serious injury increased by 117% during this same period.
NHTSA attributes the spike in vehicular accidents to the failure to adhere to safety tips that are important at any event where alcohol is being consumed such as:
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration also cautions people who host Super Bowl parties that they can be held responsible and even be prosecuted if a guest at their home ends up in a drunk driving accident. As such, the NHTSA recommends for future Super Bowl events that party hosts do the following:
As the deadly drunk driving trend continues to haunt Super Bowl Sunday, the National Commission Against Drunk Driving warns Americans that the risks are equal to New Year’s Eve and St. Patrick’s Day. Other risks associated with Super Bowl Sunday include distractions while driving, bar fights, neglecting children or elders during the game, and slip and fall accidents due to inebriation.
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