With September comes football and tailgating is part of the celebration for hardcore revelers. You grill and have a few beers in the parking lot before heading into the stadium. You meet at a bar and drink and eat while watching with fellow fans. You watch on the big screen at a friend’s house in the company of your favorite people. Wherever and however you celebrate the big game, tailgating is a good time – until it’s not. There are plenty of potential personal injury lawsuits waiting to happen on game day.
Michigan Personal Injury Associated with Football Games
Tailgating can result in a personal injury accident for more than one reason:
- Drinking: For some people, game day is when they reunite with old friends, or let loose for the weekend, or enjoy a celebration without the kids. And it’s safe to say that most of these tailgating festivities involve alcohol. If you don’t have a designated driver, heading home while intoxicated increases your chances of a drunk driving car accident
- Crowds: Even if you are getting behind the wheel of your vehicle sober, there is potential for a car accident. Everyone leaving the stadium at the same time? Distracted by your phone or passengers? Busy parking lots and roads are a recipe for fender benders, collision with a parked car, and hit-and-runs.
- Tempers: Did your beloved team lose? Did you get cut off by a car sporting a bumper sticker supporting the other team? Enjoyable tailgating can turn into physical tailgating with your vehicle. One quick stop and you’ve crunched into the rear of another vehicle.
- Ego: Maybe you’re taking your team’s poor performance out on a supporter for the other side. Before long, punches are thrown. This behavior can lead to far more than a bruised ego – it can turn into a personal injury assault, resulting in anything from a traumatic head injury to a broken nose.
- Distraction: If you choose to grill out in a parking lot, on your deck, or in the backyard, open flames, lighter fluid, or hot coals that aren’t contained properly because you’re rushing to catch the opening kickoff can create a car fire or house fire.
- Vandalism: Overzealous fans who are tired of your jeering and cheering in the stadium parking lot may take poor sportsmanship to a whole new level: spray painting a vehicle, keying the paint job, bashing in a windshield. Riots or other disturbances can result in damage to a vehicle or other property.
The Biggest Threat: Drunk Driving Accidents
Statistics have shown that major U.S. cities see more DUIs before, during, and immediately following NFL football games than any other sport. Your chances of being that drunk driver, or encountering a drunk driver, increase on Thursday nights, Sundays, and Monday nights.
You don’t have to be near an NFL stadium or college stadium to consider yourself at risk. Plenty of gatherings at private homes result in drunk drivers and car accidents, as well as the traffic leaving bars and restaurants. Tailgating should be a good time and not result in tragedy.
If you have suffered a personal injury or been involved in a Michigan car accident because of drunk driving, tailgating, or otherwise, contact Michigan personal injury attorney David C. Femminineo in Macomb County. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.