Super Bowl Sunday is here and our Charlotte DUI injury lawyers want to encourage everyone who intends to drink to do so responsibly - and refrain from driving.
The National Highway Safety Administration's Fans Don't Let Fans Drive Drunk campaign is underway, encouraging everyone planning to join the festivities to make sure to have a sober driver on hand.
In 2010, there were more than 10,200 people killed in drunk driving crashes, accounting for nearly a third of all fatal motor vehicle accidents in the country. These fatalities were nearly double on the weekends what they are on weekdays and quadruple at night what they were in the day.
A study conducted a few years ago by the University of Toronto and published in the New England Journal of Medicine analyzed crash statistics from the previous 27 Super Bowl games. They found that wrecks occurring in the house just after a Super Bowl game rose by more than 40 percent. In the very first hour after the game, the number of crashes rose by 70 percent.
States that saw the greatest surges were the home states of the losing teams. Crashes in the winners' states spiked by just 6 percent. In other states, the number of crashes rose by nearly 50 percent.
There are several factors at play here. You have, obviously, drinking during the game. You also have driver fatigue, resulting from the fact that the games and/or festivities don't tend to end until late in the evening. Additionally, you have a driver distraction factor, particularly in places where the drivers' team lost.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety noted that even those drivers who weren't drinking, yet were distracted by replaying the game over and over in their head, still posed a significant safety risk on the road.
If you plan to attend a Super Bowl party or watch the game at a local restaurant or sports bar, the NHTSA strongly advises the following:
- Make sure you have a designated sober driver before you even leave your house.
- Try to refrain from drinking too much alcohol too fast. Pace yourself by taking breaks, alternating with a non-alcohol beverage and eat plenty of food.
- If you find yourself drunk (or even just buzzed) and without a sober driver, call a friend, call a taxi or stay the night where you are. Don't risk getting behind the wheel.
- Interject if you notice a friend or someone else is about to drive drunk. Take away their keys and either offer them a place to stay or arrange a safe ride home. If you are unable to stop them, call 911 to alert authorities. It may seem harsh, but consider the consequences of what could happen. Aside from a potential DUI, they could end up killing an innocent motorist or passenger.
If you are hosting a party, keep in mind that you may be held liable if someone to whom you serve alcohol ends up causing a DUI crash.