Football fans watching the big game and fist bumping on a couch with snacks.

Tips for throwing a safe football party

Everyone loves a party with friends to watch the big game — just don't forget to nominate a designated driver for after.

Big games and playoffs are more fun when friends get together to watch them. Planning ahead is good defense. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration — NHTSA, 1 person dies every 39 minutes in the U.S. in drunk-driving car accidents. During 2021, 13,384 people died in this type of crash, and that amount was 14% greater than in 2020. The financial loss of those deaths is also devastating. According to CDC, in 2020 the cost associated with alcohol impaired crashes was $123.3 billion. This amount included medical expenses and the cost of the lives lost in those accidents. 

These suggestions can help hosts and their guests keep the party — and the ride home — safer when the big game takes place this February.

Home team

You are the referee — so keep the game in check by preparing the "field" inside:

  • The kitchen is where everyone huddles, and distractions can cause you to take your eyes off the ball. There's no half-time break if you're the one frying, grilling, boiling or broiling food because the leading cause of kitchen fires is unattended cooking.
  • Offer a variety of foods, including football favorites like chili, tortilla chips and queso dip, guacamole, hamburger sliders, nachos and chicken wings. And don't leave food like chicken, eggs or cheese out too long, risking illness. Washing your hands when preparing and handling food can also prevent the spread of germs.  
  • Make the hard calls for safety. Throw out the yellow flag if someone has been drinking and tries to leave with keys in their hands — that's a party foul. Suggest your guests have a plan to get home safely, such as a rideshare or have them stay the night.
  • Know your MVPs. Give the designated drivers the best seat in the house and confirm they have plenty of alcohol-free choices.
  • At the beginning of the 4th quarter, consider replacing alcohol with coffee, water and desserts, so everyone is ready for the 2 minute warning and has a greater potential to leave safely after the game.

Prepare the "field" outside:

Visiting team

Facing a drive to the party or the game? Remember the safe travel plays.

  • Eliminate distractions. Keep two eyes on the road and two hands on the wheel.
  • Drive within speed limits and practice defensive driving.
  • Buckle up, every trip, every time.
  • Stay sober and alert behind the wheel.
  • Plan ahead — anyone drinking should not be driving. Use alternative modes like ridesharing to get there safely.
  • Be prepared for unexpected field conditions. Remove junk from your vehicle trunk and add a car emergency kit and a road safety kit, including items like a shovel, snow brush, ice scraper, flashlights, jumper cables, sand or kitty litter, warning devices (flares/triangles) and blankets, water, non-perishable food and any necessary medicines.
  • Check game-time weather. As temperatures fall, tire pressure can too. Check that your tires are ready for the drive down the field.

Now that you have learned some tips to safely celebrate the big football game, you may be interested to see some State Farm commercials available for football season.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates). While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. State Farm is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.

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