Don’t Let Tailgating Turn into A Trip to the Emergency Room
Fans clad in red or orange will start staking out their tailgating camps around noon that Friday, and the festivities will begin around Gaylord Family-Memorial Stadium. By game time on Saturday, some people could be pretty fired up, especially if alcohol is flowing freely.
Consuming a few beers while grilling with friends and fellow fans is a typical part of the tailgating experience for some tailgaters. But it’s important to follow safety precautions when tailgating. Here are some tips to make sure your football weekend turns out safely and free of accidents:
- Do not stand in the middle of a parking lot traffic lane where people are tailgating. People arriving late to the tailgating area might have been drinking.
- If you want to throw a football with friends or children, find a spot – preferably in the grass – where no vehicles are moving.
- If you don’t want to get caught up in the tailgating crowd, you can probably find parking at the Lloyd Noble Center and take a short walk to the football stadium.
- Make sure you take a cooler full of ice and bottled water to your tailgating get-together. Ice is good for keeping food and condiments from spoiling. Bottled water helps people avoid dehydration caused by consuming alcohol. Even if it’s cold in early December, some people might need to drink some water to help them avoid dehydration after a day or two of over-indulging.
Grill with care
- Whether you use propane, electricity or charcoal, test your grill at home to make sure it works properly. When you set up, ensure it is in a safe spot and won’t be knocked over by people throwing footballs or passersby.
- You want to make sure the area has proper ventilation, and always keep a fire extinguisher on hand in case of an emergency.
- Don’t leave your grill unattended. Before you leave the tailgating area and go into the stadium, inspect the grill closely to make sure it’s turned off and the fire is out.
Use alcohol responsibly
- If you’re a tailgate host, you take on a pretty big responsibility, especially if you’ve got a cooler full of beer or are serving liquor. The best advice is leave the alcohol at home. But if they must, keep them under control by limiting them to a couple of drinks before and after the game. If someone is driving home, don’t let them drink at all and risk being involved in an auto accident.
- Never allow an underage person to have alcohol at your gathering. You could be liable if they wind up having a wreck.
Secure your vehicle
- Thieves may go through tailgating areas during the game to see if people left anything valuable lying around or forgot to lock their vehicles. Always put your items in your vehicle when you go into the stadium and ensure your doors are locked.
Prepare for emergencies
- Take your cell phone into the stadium so you can call for help in case of a health-care emergency and to make sure people can reach you. Look around and check the location of exits, ushers and security guards.
Leave with care
- Usually, the most damage happens after the game and partying are done. If someone in your group is intoxicated, do not let them drive home. Either have a sober person take them home, call a cab or put them in a hotel if they live several hours away.
- Make sure all of your tailgating gear is picked up and placed in your vehicle.
- When you leave, look behind you and in each direction several times before backing out, especially if you’re driving an RV. Drive slowly and beware of other vehicles that might be leaving.
- Don’t get in a rush, because traffic is likely to be heavy. Battling for a spot in a line of traffic only leads to frustration.
By the time Oklahoma and Oklahoma State meet in the final game of the 2014 regular season, a good deal besides state pride could be on the line. Both teams are having fine seasons. Make attention to safety precautions part of your tailgating ritual to avoid a preventable accident.
Let's Talk About It
Speak with an experienced attorney at no cost to you