Football in the South is sacred, but what’s football without tailgating? Tailgating can sometimes be the main event, overshadowing the game. With trays of food, cold drinks and dozens of people, it’s easy to understand why. Sometimes the copious amounts of libations can be dangerous. There’s always a buzz in the air when a big game rolls around, and people from all over come together to cheer and yell, which can make tensions rise and safety precautions fall. It can be easy to let the excitement of football take precedence over safety, but it’s important to have some tips in mind when tailgating to prevent injury and illness. 

Food & Drink

The food is arguably the most important part of a tailgate. Tailgates are a hub for homemade dishes and catered treats. If you’re planning on grilling out at the stadium, make sure that the food is properly stored. This means that meat should be kept in a cooler until it’s ready to be grilled to prevent bacteria growth. You also want to make sure that you’re practicing grill safety, which includes using the right kind of grill and watching the coals to prevent a possible fire. 

Alcohol is also usually present at tailgates. If you’re going to be drinking, please do so responsibly. If there are minors at your tailgate, it can be tempting to turn your head the other way if they grab a drink. Underage drinking is illegal for a reason and being vigilant about who’s taking drinks can prevent future accidents. Tailgating throughout the game can also mean you’re drinking all day. Sober up at least two hours prior to driving home or have a designated driver. Studies have shown that a fair number of people are legally intoxicated by the end of a game.1 And while we hope that people who have been drinking at a football game or tailgate are doing so responsibly, that’s not always the case. 

Parking Lots

When arriving or leaving a tailgate, you need to be extra cautious in the parking lots. People are everywhere and may not be paying attention to their surroundings. The threat of an accident rises even higher towards the end of the game when people have been drinking. Being aware of your surroundings when driving can make all the difference in preventing an accident. 

Making friends at a tailgate party is inevitable, but just because everyone seems friendly, doesn’t mean they actually are. You may not think you need to because of the friendly environment, but you should always protect your valuables in a locked car or keep them on your person to prevent theft. Theft can happen anywhere.

In the end, it’s better to be prepared for accidents, even if they don’t end up happening. Injuries and illnesses can be prevented, but accidents ultimately are unavoidable, and the best you can do is prepare for them. It’s wise to keep first aid supplies on hand, but sometimes being prepared and practicing caution isn’t enough. Consider protecting yourself further by getting personal injury insurance which goes the extra mile and covers you in worst case scenarios. 

At Penny Insurance Agency, we’re just as excited for fall and all of the fun fanfare that comes with it, but we also recognize the importance of practicing caution and staying safe. Contact one of our qualified agents today to find out more about personal injury insurance and how it can help you during your tailgates.