Tailgating Tips for Safe Driving

tailgating safetyThe excitement of football season can be felt throughout the fall season, and perhaps nowhere better than in the parking lots of stadiums and college football fields before a game even begins. One of the favorite activities of football fans is tailgating, where friends, food, and fun all add into the thrill of watching a favorite team win.

Tailgating, however, can have an impact on the safety of those same friends when alcohol is involved in the festivities.  When it comes to drinking alcohol while tailgating, it is important to keep in mind that vehicles and alcohol do not mix. A University of Minnesota study shows that one in 12 people are drunk after leaving a stadium game, and tailgaters are considered a large majority of those who have consumed too much alcohol. Yale University has a policy that discourages binge drinking, while other colleges have “no alcohol” rules for tailgaters.

Tailgate safety is common sense. Since tailgating easily combines drinking with driving after the game ends, a designated driver is vital. When alcohol is present, it should be consumed at a slow rate. Any driver should understand that “open container” laws will apply, and should plan accordingly. Public drinking laws should also be adhered to, and a plan for getting home safely after a game is a must. Nobody wants to end a game with a night (or more) in jail – tailgate safely, and keep cheering on your favorite team!