It might not surprise some, but studies have confirmed that car accidents increase sharply immediately after the Super Bowl. In fact, the areas facing the sharpest spike in car crashes are those immediately surrounding the losing team’s city. Unfortunately, this means that many people face serious personal injuries, even if they were not watching the game.
Car Accidents Rise After the Super Bowl
The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Toronto, and was published in the New England Journal of Medicine back in 2003. While dated, the findings of the study were supported with decades of evidence, and Snopes has continually confirmed it.
The study looked at 27 consecutive Super Bowl Sundays, comparing the number of car accidents that happened on those days with the number that happened on the Sundays immediately before and after the big game. According to the study, an average of 24 people were killed in car accidents immediately after the Super Bowl. On the Sundays before and after the game, only 17 people were killed in accidents.
Additionally, the number of people hurt on Super Bowl Sunday jumped 46%, from about 1,300 to 1,900. The total number of accident rose 33%, from an average of approximately 3,000 to nearly 4,000.
These increases, however, only came after the Super Bowl ended. Both before and during the game there were no significant changes in the number of car crashes or injuries.
Nevertheless, these changes are substantial: The study pointed out that not even New Year’s Eve sees increases of this magnitude.
Losing Team’s State Most Affected
The study also found that the car accident rate surged the most in the home states of the losing team. There, accidents increased 68% after the game. In states without a team in the game, car crashes increased 46%, while the winner’s home state saw a small increase of only 6%.
Drunk Driving and Distracted Driving Likely Culprits
The two most likely culprits for such a sharp rise in car accidents after the Super Bowl are drunk driving and distracted driving.
Super Bowl parties often involve alcohol, and not everyone plans for how they’re going to get home afterwards. As a result, there are likely far more inebriated drivers on the road after the game.
However, distracted driving also plays a part. You don’t have to be on the phone or texting to be distracted while behind the wheel. Replaying important parts of the game in your head or “Monday morning quarterbacking” takes your mind off the road and increases the chances of being in a serious car crash.
St. Joseph Car Accident Attorneys at the Smith Law Office
While the Kansas City Chiefs haven’t been in the Super Bowl since long ago, their recent play since Andy Reid came in to coach says the time might come pretty soon. But even until that happens, the dangers on the road are always there after the Super Bowl. If you’re unlucky, you could be the one who gets hit by a drunk or distracted driver and seriously hurt.