Super Bowl LIV is right around the corner, and football fans across the nation can expect epic fun and excitement as they descend on South Florida for the much-anticipated annual sporting event. If you live in Miami, you already know how bad traffic can be on a regular basis. Now, add the traffic generated by the out-of-towners during the Super Bowl and the combination can be explosive. According to Florida Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles, there were over 32,000 crashes in Miami-Dade county in 2019, with nearly 16,000 resulting in injuries. The tens of thousands of football fans expected to visit South Florida for the big championship will mean more cars on the road, resulting not only in more traffic but also a higher probability for car accidents A study of U.S. accident data from 27 Super Bowl Sundays performed by University of Toronto researchers showed there was a 41% increase in motor vehicle collisions in the hours following the Super Bowl. The first hour immediately following the Super Bowl was the worst, with the accident rate jumping 70%. what can drivers do to avoid collisions on the road during Super Bowl weekend? Attorney Gregory Ward of The Ward Law Group, representing traffic accident victims in South and Central Florida, shares four simple ways drivers can stay safe on the road the days leading up to and following the big game.
- Avoid distractions: While it may be tempting to text friends about the latest touchdown or live-stream the game while on the road, it’s imperative that you avoid all distractions while driving. Instead, opt to tune in to a radio station that’s covering the game to ensure you keep your eyes on the road at all times.
- Don’t drive if you’ve been drinking:Every day, 29 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This is one death every 50 minutes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes totals more than $44 billion, as reported by the CDC. If you plan on enjoying a few drinks during the Super Bowl, be sure to have a winning game plan in place — whether it’s taking an Uber or having a sober friend drive you home.
- Buckle up: Putting on your seat belt could be the difference between injury and death. Aside from being the law, wearing a seat belt protects you and your passengers in the case of a collision and helps minimize injuries. It only takes three seconds to put on, and it could save your life. So reach over your shoulder and buckle up.
- Be alert of other drivers:Even if you buckle up and drive sober, it’s impossible to control what other drivers on the road are doing. To avoid being involved in an accident caused by irresponsible drivers, the best thing you can do is stay alert and keep a safe distance away from other cars — enough to give you time to react in case of an emergency. Being on high alert could potentially save your life (and the lives of others).
- Bonus tip: Don’t let your emotions run high. Whether your team loses or scores a touchdown, remember to keep your cool and concentrate on the road.