Super Bowl Sunday is the perfect excuse to enjoy delicious food and quality time with friends and family. Even if your plans do not involve alcohol, it is important that you are cautious if you drive home after the Big Game.

According to a study cited by Snopes, there is a 41-percent increase in the number of motor-vehicle collisions immediately following the Super Bowl. The most dangerous time to drive is the first hour after the game ends – when the accident rate jumps 71 percent.

The study pinpointed three areas of concern that contribute to this higher-than-usual rate of car crashes:

  1. Drunk driving;
  2. Drowsy driving; and
  3. Distracted driving.

Let’s take a closer look at three factors that contribute to accidents on Super Bowl Sunday:

  1. Drunk Driving

The safe-driving initiative Mothers Against Drunk Driving has teamed up with the NFL to spread awareness about the dangers of drunk driving. The partnership appears to be working: In the five years that MADD and the NFL have been working together, more than 1 million people have signed up as designated sober drivers at NFL games.

Unfortunately, drunk-driving rates will undoubtedly increase on Super Bowl Sunday. If you are planning to consume alcohol, then remember to arrange alternative transportation before the festivities begin. Also, don’t be afraid to intervene if a friend or family member attempts to drive under the influence.

  1. Drowsy Driving

Alcohol is not the only cause of accidents after the Big Game. Partiers who normally tuck in early might be too fatigued to drive safely.

Drowsiness affects your driving performance by:

  • Hindering your ability to focus on the road ahead;
  • Slowing down your reaction time; and
  • Impairing your decision-making ability.
  1. Distracted Driving

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention3,154 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver in 2013. On Super Bowl Sunday, many drivers will be distracted by rowdy, intoxicated passengers. If you are the designated driver, do not be afraid to tell your passengers to stay calm.

Understanding the dangers of driving on Super Bowl Sunday is the first step toward preventing accidents. Unfortunately, some collisions are unavoidable.

If you are injured in a crash with a negligent driver, contact a New Mexico car accident attorney. Our legal team will help you avoid mistakes such as accepting a low settlement, signing a general release or making recorded statements to insurance adjusters.