The researchers theorized that drinking during the game, driver fatigue because of the late hour, and distraction and disappointment among drivers whose teams lost all contributed to the rise in collisions. “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” after the loss, said Dr. Donald A. Redelmeier, a professor of medicine who also works at Canada’s largest trauma center.
Even those fans who don’t drink during or after the game pose a risk to themselves and others once they hit the road because of the distraction factor. “If you’re replaying things in your head, you’re not paying attention” to your driving, said Stephanie Faul, spokeswoman for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
The Nevada Department for Transport offers the following Super Bowl safe driving tips.
If you’re attending a Super Bowl party or watching the game at a sports bar or restaurant:
- Designate your sober driver before the party begins.
- Avoid drinking too much alcohol too fast. Pace yourself. Eat plenty of food, take breaks, and alternate with non-alcoholic drinks.
- If you don’t have a designated driver, ask a sober friend for a ride home; call a cab, friend, or family member to come and get you; or stay where you are for the night and don’t drive until you are sober.
- Utilize a free sober ride program
- Never let friends drive drunk. Arrange a safe way for them to get home.
- Always buckle up. It’s still your best defence against drunk drivers on the road.
If you’re hosting a Super Bowl party:
- Make sure all of your guests designate their sober drivers in advance, or help arrange ride-sharing with sober drivers.
- Serve plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages at the party
- Host your party just like they do at the stadium. Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter of the game. The fourth quarter is perfect for serving coffee and dessert
- Keep the phone numbers of local cab companies on hand and take the keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving drunk.
Enjoy the game and if you have to travel at the end of it, please drive diligently and avoid the risks of distraction, drink, drugs and disappointment!