By Henrietta J. Burroughs Follow East Palo Alto Today on
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Sunday, February 3, 2013
Drinking and driving is an all too familiar and tragic combination. It is a combination that has led to an increased risk of driving accidents on Super Bowl Sunday.
According to a 10 year study taken from 2002 - 2011 by the Automobile Club of Southern California, drinking and driving crashes in California were 75 percent greater on Super Bowl Sunday than on other comparable Sundays in January and February.
The study showed that there were 642 alcohol-related fatal crashes in California on Super Bowl Sunday during 2002-2011, an increase of 41 percent over the crashes recorded during the Automobile Club's study taken during 1994 - 2002.
Given the high incidence of drinking and driving accidents on the day the Super Bowl game is played, the Trauma Program at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center offered the following tips to help Super Bowl revelers and all party goers to reduce the incidence of alcohol related injuries and stay crash free.
- Identify a designated driver before the party and use them as a ride if you have been drinking alcohol.
- If you cannot find a designated driver, think about staying where you are for the night.
- Have the telephone number of a cab company and keep with you so you can easily access the call.
- Don’t drink too much alcohol too quickly.
- To slow the absorption of alcohol, eat food and drink water during the party. Avoid salty foods which can encourage more drinking.
- Never ride as a passenger in a car driven by someone who has been drinking alcohol, even if they have had only a small amount.
- Buckle your seat belt each time you drive. Ensure your passengers are all buckled as well.
- If you think someone on the road is driving impaired, stay at a distance. Pull over and call 9-1-1 to report the issue.
- Remember: If you’re under 21, do not consume alcohol. It’s against the law.
- If hosting a Super Bowl party, ask to hold car keys from guests and return them when they leave if they have not been drinking. Stop serving alcohol 1 hour before the end of the party. Offer guests more food and dessert.
- Do not serve alcohol to anyone under age 21 if you are hosting a party. It’s against the law and you will be held liable.
According to the Trauma Program, being aware and taking simple measures will help make Super Bowl Sunday XLVII and any other party occasion an enjoyable event.
Henrietta J. Burroughs, the author of this article, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.