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More accidents on Super Bowl Sunday, study finds

TORONTO, Ont. -- If you're planning to hit the road on a cross-border run this Sunday evening, you shouldn't accord...

TORONTO, Ont. — If you’re planning to hit the road on a cross-border run this Sunday evening, you shouldn’t according to new research that shows the roads are more dangerous on Super Bowl Sunday.

In a study of accident statistics for 27 consecutive Super Bowls from 1975 to 2001, Dr. Donald Redelmeier found a 41 per cent increase in motor vehicle collisions in the post-Super Bowl hours. Redelmeier is a chair of trauma research at the University of Toronto and an internist at Sunnybrook and Women’s College Health Sciences Centre.

His study found that for each Super Bowl Sunday, there were more than 4,000 collisions, when doctors usually expect about 3,000 collisions. The study also found that the number of injuries increased to about 1,900 from about 1,300, and 24 people died compared to 17 people on other Sundays.

According the the study, accident rates didn’t increase before the Super Bowl, dropped a bit during the game, and soared in a four-hour period following the game. It also found accident rates were higher in states where the home team lost.

Dr. Redelmeier believes the spike in accidents on Super Bowl Sunday are caused by a combination of factors – Super Bowl party drinking, inattention, fatigue and “Monday-morning quarterbacking that starts on Sunday night.”

The study was based on data from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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