Avoiding a car accident when the home NFL team loses

(Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety studied 31 NFL stadiums across the country to see what effect game days had on traffic accidents.

Accidents went up by 3.2 percent when the home team won. On the days that they tied or lost, the number of accidents went up by 9.4 percent.

In other words, you’re almost three times more likely to crash when the home team loses than when they win.

The Insurance Institute didn’t get into a reason for the increase but there a few theories on why this happens.

“People are a little more distracted behind the wheel after a game,” said Derek Wing, the Communications Manager for PEMCO Insurance. “Especially a loss because they are probably thinking about certain plays that could’ve happened that might have turned the tide. Maybe they are a little bit upset about calls that didn’t go the home team’s way.”

Another reason could be is that emotions tend to run a little bit higher when a home team loses.

Wing said that could translate to more aggressive driving.

Here are some safe driving tips for game day:

  1. Watch out for distracted drivers and pedestrians
  2. Consider delaying your trip home. You could walk to a restaurant and get something to eat while traffic thins out.
  3. Don't be a road-rage target. This means no tailgating, cutting off other drivers, honking or gesturing and blocking intersections after the light changes.

"What I always like to say is traffic like football is a team sport," said Wing. "We all need to do our part in order to succeed."

PEMCO also recommends taking a few deep breaths and know that everyone around you is feeling disappointed and distracted too.