Staying safe on Super Bowl Sunday
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Staying safe on Super Bowl Sunday

According to a study by the Automobile Club of Southern California, drunk driving car accidents increase by 75 percent on Super Bowl Sunday. The organization analyzed car accident data on comparable winter Sundays between 2002 and 2011.

This shouldn't come as a surprise. Super Bowl Sunday and alcohol come hand-in-hand and many events occur away from home. Yet, what is alarming is the dramatic increase in drunk driving car accidents between this decade and the last. The Automobile Club did a similar study between 1994 and 2002, which showed there were 41 percent more alcohol-related car accidents on Super Bowl Sunday, far less than the more recent 75 percent.

The Automobile Club believes the increase is due in part to an increase in Super Bowl parties heavy on alcohol as well as promotional events at bars and restaurants. They say some of the responsibility should fall on the party hosts. They ask the hosts to prevent drunk friends from driving home, serve food rich in starch and protein, avoid serving to minors and stop serving alcohol in the third quarter.

It is probably best to stay off Los Angeles' roads on Super Bowl Sunday, but if you must drive, keep your distance from other drivers and watch for cars swerving over lines. And if you do drink on Super Bowl Sunday, find a designated driver, hire a cab or spend the night at your friends.

Between 2002 and 2011, there were 642 fatal drunk driving car accidents in California on Super Bowl Sunday. We can all do our part to prevent these tragedies.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Auto Club says Sunday is the Super Bowl of drunk-driving crashes," Jerry Hirsch, Jan. 30, 2013

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