When you think about it, Super Bowl Sunday is really the “perfect storm” for increased vehicle accidents in Jacksonville and throughout the country. People get together with neighbors and friends to watch the big game, eat fat-laden foods, and wash it down with a few or more alcoholic beverages. Add to that the increased popularity of restaurants and bars with Super Bowl themed food and drink specials and more people on the roads, and the results can be deadly. Statistics show there are more car accidents in Jacksonville and across the country on Super Bowl Sunday, many involving drunk drivers.
The hours immediately following the Super Bowl are the most dangerous for drivers. The New England Journal of Medicine reports that car accidents jump by more than 40 percent after the Super Bowl, resulting in approximately 1,300 more car crashes, 600 more injuries and seven more deaths throughout the United States. Fatal injuries are highest in the state with the losing team, compared to the state with the winning team or states that had no team in the Super Bowl.
Of course, alcohol plays a big role, but so does driver fatigue after a long day of eating and drinking. Combined the emotional highs of winning or losing, the roads become more dangerous and prone to fatal accidents on Super Bowl Sunday. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 48 percent of all U.S. car accident deaths are alcohol related on Super Bowl Sunday.
Before you plan to host a Super Bowl party, get a game plan in place to make sure your guests arrive home safely:
•Do not let your guests drive drunk. If you need to, take their car keys and call a taxi.
•Stop serving to anyone who appears to be inebriated.
•Do not let guests mix their own drinks. Designate a responsible bartender.
•Do not provide alcoholic drinks mixed with carbonation; the body absorbs these types of drinks rapidly.
•Make sure you serve plenty of high protein foods, such as meat or cheese, to slow alcohol absorption.
•Provide non-alcoholic drinks as an option for guests.
•Cut off the alcohol during the third quarter of the game and offer more food, desserts and coffee.
•Do not serve alcohol to minors (anyone under age 21).
•Encourage guests to designate a non-drinking driver or to call a taxi if needed. Have the numbers of local cab companies on hand.
When driving home after the Super Bowl party, report drivers who appear to be drunk. The Jacksonville Sherrif’s Office recommends calling 911 if you believe a driver has been drinking. Be prepared to provide a location, description of the car and the license tag number if possible. Finally, when leaving the party, do not forget to buckle up – it could be your best defense against a drunk driver.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a drunk driving accident, contact our Jacksonville personal injury attorneys for a free no-obligation consultation.