Football season is a high-risk time on the roads because more people drink alcohol and because the number of people who binge drink increases. The Super Bowl is an especially dangerous day for drunk driving collisions in Houston, but research has shown an overall increase in the number of alcohol-related arrests on game days. This includes arrests for impaired driving.
The Texas Department of Transportation aims to fight the risk of drunk driving during football season with its 'Fan Van.' Your Houston News reported last year that the 'Fan Van' is designed to look like a giant football and travels around to teach Texans about the risks of football and drunk driving. In Texas, 1,612 DUI-alcohol traffic crashes happened on football days when a Texas team was playing at the college or professional level. These accidents caused 57 fatalities. In Houston alone, there were 262 alcohol-related collisions in 2011 and in 2012 on game day when a Texas team was playing.
If you or a loved one gets hurt in a drunk driving collision, you should contact a personal injury lawyer to learn about your options for obtaining compensation.
Football Season and Drunk Driving Collision Risks
Super Bowl Sunday is one of the most dangerous days of the year for intoxicated motorists. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), a total of 43 percent of collisions that occurred on Super Bowl Sunday and the early morning afterwards involved alcohol in 2012. Over the course of the whole year, only around 31 percent of the collisions that occurred involved drunk driving, so the percentage of intoxicated motorist collisions was much greater during and after Super Bowl Sunday.
It is not just professional football that increases the chance of a drunk driving accident. A study on the association between alcohol-related arrests and college football revealed that there are many more arrests for drunk driving and other crimes involving alcohol use on game days.
The study involved studying the number of arrests that occurred over a 30 day period that included 10 game days in an area with an NCAA Division 1 football team that was performing well. There were also an additional 10 "control" days on which no game occurred.
It revealed that an average of 70.3 arrests occurred on days with football games. On the control Sundays with no games, there were 12.3 arrests. On holidays, there were 11.8 arrests. The research also showed that on game days, there were not only more arrests but also that the arrests were more likely to occur near to the football stadiums. This provided further evidence that there was a causal link between the football and between drunk driving and other alcohol-crimes.
This prompted researchers to conclude that efforts to educate people about the dangers of drunk driving on holidays have been successful and that there should be similar programs and efforts to discourage binge drinking and intoxicated driving during high-profile sporting events.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving is trying to increase awareness and has partnered with the National Football League (NFL). The goal is to get people to have someone promise to act as a non-drinking designated driver before the game starts. MADD Has helped teams to raise sign-ups for designated drivers by an average of 28 percent annually each year since starting its partnership with the League in 2010. MADD will be handing out information and circulating throughout games to provide details to people about the high risks of impaired driving.
Hopefully, these efforts can help to reduce the number of collisions that occur this football season as the games begin.
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