On Super Bowl Sunday, you might be better off watching and celebrating at home. The Super Bowl, watched in 2015 by almost 115 million viewers, is arguably the biggest sporting event of the year in the U.S. But did you realize that after the game is one of the most dangerous times to be on the road?
A study has confirmed that, in the hours following the Super Bowl, there is a 41 percent increase in car crashes. The accident rate rose to a 70 percent increase in accidents in the first hour after the game. (During the game, the accident rate drops, presumably because fewer people are on the road.)
This study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, reported that the biggest rises in the accident rate occurred in the home state of the losing team, where the rate soared 68 percent. On the other hand, in the winner’s state, the number of crashes rose only 6 percent. In so-called neutral states, the rate went up an average of 46 percent. The study compared accident data from 27 Super Bowl Sundays with data from the Sundays that precede and follow the Super Bowl.
The number of people killed in post-Super Bowl accidents was 24 on average, as compared to 17 on the preceding and following Sundays. Those injured in crashes increased from 1,300 to 1,900, and the actual number of collisions went from nearly 3,000 to over 4,000.
The theory is that drinking during the game, driver fatigue, distraction, and disappointment in the game’s outcome all contributed to the surge in crashes. Dr. Donald A. Redelmeier, a professor of medicine and employee at Canada’s largest trauma center, commented, “We think that it may be alcohol and fatigue and inattention, and in particular the sort of ‘what-if’ conjectures and Monday morning quarterbacking that occurs.”
If you plan to be away from home on Super Bowl Sunday, be ready with a plan. Have a designated driver or use a ride-sharing service, taxi, or public transportation.
In Indiana, if you or a family member is hurt in an accident following the Super Bowl, multiple parties may be responsible if the driver of the other vehicle was at fault and intoxicated.
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