Every year, after the Super Bowl Game ends, emergency room doctors are hit with a surge of injuries and deaths due to crashes throughout California, but San Diego Attorney James Johnson says you can take steps to reduce your chances of getting hurt.
“These crashes typically involve alcohol and are absolutely preventable,” said Johnson, whose law firm handles injury and wrongful death cases throughout California. “Driving drunk is not an option because there are so many alternatives available that can provide a safe way home.”
Indeed, a recent study of data from 2009 to 2013 shows the number of traffic accidents following the annual football game go up an average of 77 percent in the hours after the big game throughout California, according to a report by the California Department of Insurance. In Los Angeles these crashes were up 57 percent and in San Diego County it was 117 percent. The study reported there were 294 fatal and injury crashes during this five-year period on Super Bowl Sundays, compared to other Sundays in January and February with 166 crashes.
The Automobile Club, the Insurance Commissioner and California Highway Patrol headed up the 2014 study by reviewing alcohol-related crashes involving fatalities and injuries taking place between 5 p.m. on Sunday after the Super Bowl until 4 a.m. Monday morning. The data covered the 2009 to 2013 Super Bowl Sundays and was compared to other crashes taking place on Sundays in January and February in those years.
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones stated in the January 2015 press release that Super Bowl Sunday is one of the “most dangerous days to be on California’s roads and highways.”
As you would expect, alcohol consumption during the game was to blame for many of the collisions, but the study showed that fatigue, inattention and distraction by those whose team lost the game were also attributed to reasons for crashes.
Johnson, who founded Johnson Attorneys Group in Southern California, is a proud supporter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and he hopes to help bring awareness to the dangers of drinking and driving as well as offer solutions for people who may be in harm’s way.
“Designate a sober driver, call a taxi, Uber or Lyft, take public transportation or get a hotel so you don’t have to drive home if you have been drinking,” Johnson said. “Think about the consequences of your actions and do the right thing.”
The consequences can certainly be fatal in some cases, but if you are lucky enough to avoid a crash you may still end up as one of the 160,000 drivers arrested for DUI in 2013 did and face thousands of dollars in fines and the loss of your license. The cost of a misdemeanor DUI conviction in the Golden State is roughly $15,649 due to fines, penalties, restitution, legal fees and higher insurance costs, but if you are under 21 years old the cost is $21,500.
The Auto Club offers its Tipsy Tow service in some communities. The service provides the drunken driver only a free 7-mile tow home to their residence at no cost by calling 1-800-400-4AAA.
So whether you are cheering on the Carolina Panthers or the Denver Broncos, never drink and drive or get in a car with someone who has so that you may come home a winner yourself.
Johnson Attorneys Group has offices through California in Newport Beach, San Diego, Riverside, San Francisco and Bakersfield. Our law firm offers a free consultation by calling 800-235-6801. If you are hurt in a collision with a negligent driver it’s important to take immediate steps to ensure your legal rights are protected.
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