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DATA SUGGESTS TEXAS DUI CRASHES INCREASE DURING FOOTBALL GAME DAYS

By Luke Dow on October 05, 2015

Data from the Texas Department of Transportation reveals that many alcohol-related accidents, injuries and fatalities occur on football game days.

Football is a huge part of Texas culture, and for many people in Austin, enjoying a drink or two while cheering on a college or professional team is an essential part of the game day ritual. Unfortunately, new data suggests that many Texas residents don't make responsible decisions when it comes to driving after drinking during games. Instead, accidents involving drunk drivers rise during football game days.

Game Day DUI Accidents

The Texas Department of Transportation reports that a high number of alcohol-related crashes occur on days when college or professional football teams from Texas play. Troublingly, the number of game day accidents rose from 2011 to 2013. In 2012, 1,600 of these accidents occurred; in 2013, the number increased to more than 1,700.

These accidents are not always trivial. In 2012, alcohol-related accidents that occurred on game days claimed 57 lives, according to KLTV News. In 2013, fewer game day fatalities occurred, but the 41 lives lost still represented too many preventable deaths. While some of these accidents may have occurred because of other factors, the large number of alcohol-related accidents occurring around football games suggests game day drinking is often a contributing factor.

Statistics from the 2013 Super Bowl also reveal that Texans face a serious risk of alcohol-related accidents during big game days. During a 24-hour period after the Super Bowl, intoxicated drivers across Texas contributed to 112 crashes, which resulted in four deaths and 39 injuries.

Texas And Drunk Driving

Drunk driving is already a substantial threat to public safety in Texas, as many residents know. Statistics from the National Safety Council help illustrate the issue:
  • On average, an alcohol-related accident injures or kills someone in Texas every 29 minutes.
  • In 2012, 1,099 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes that occurred in the state.
  • These deaths represented 32.3 percent - or nearly one-third - of all state traffic fatalities in 2012.
Sadly, the figures from the DOT suggest that game day drinking and driving may contribute significantly to these statistics.

Accident Avoidance

The Texas DOT recommends that drivers always make responsible plans before they start drinking on game days. People who have consumed alcohol should always assign a designated driver, call a friend for help or find an alternative method of transportation, such as taking a taxi or bus. Drivers who fail to plan a safe way home also have the option of simply staying where they are until they are sober and able to drive.

Sadly, if past statistics are any indicator, many drivers may disregard these guidelines, and there may be little that innocent motorists can do to avoid the resulting accidents. Anyone who has been hurt because of a drunk driver's reckless decisions should think about meeting with an attorney to discuss seeking compensation for the accident.

Keywords: drunk driving, accident, injury

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