Acohol is a factor in a substantial number of car and truck accidents. Drunk drivers are responsible for roughly 30 percent of all fatal traffic accidents. Drivers who have consumed alcohol, even if they are below the legal limit, may have difficulty concentrating or tracking moving objects while they drive. So when an event causes a larger number of people than normal to consume alcohol and drive, the result is generally a large increase incrashes, injuries and deaths. The Super Bowl is just such an event and California crash data clearly shows its impact.

Over the past five years, Super Bowl Sunday has seen alcohol-related accidents rise by 77 percent. California saw a 57 percent increase in the number of injuries and deaths caused by impaired drivers. Super Bowl Sunday is an excuse for many people to get together and have a few drinks watching the game. Unfortunately, many of those people do not make smart decisions about whether or not to drive home.

Events like the Super Bowl lead to increase in drinking and to an increase in driving. While the surest way to avoid a car accident is to stay off the roads, events like the Super Bowl, New Year’s Eve, July 4th and other holidays make staying home a less attractive option for many. Short of not driving, the best ways to avoid an accident are to make a plan and be aware. If you are going to be drinking any alcohol at all, it is best to choose a designated driver. Designated drivers are not the most sober person in a group. They should completely refrain from drinking any alcohol before driving. If that is not possible, consider public transportation, a taxi or a rideshare service to get you home. The inconvenience will be more than worth it if it help you avoid an accident.

Source: California Times, “Sunday is the Super Bowl of drunk driving, crash data show,” by Jerry Hirsch, 27 January 2015

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