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There may be more on the line in major sporting events than many sports fans think.

Closely contested major sporting events are followed by a significant increase in traffic fatalities for fans of the winning team, according to new research from North Carolina State University.

“A previous study showed that traffic fatalities increased in the hours following the Super Bowl. We wanted to see if that held true for other high-profile sporting events and, if so, whether the number of fatalities was influenced by whether the game was a close one,” said Dr. Stacy Wood, Langdon Distinguished Professor of Marketing at N.C. State and lead author of a paper describing the research. “Are blow-outs more dangerous because they’re boring, and people may drink more? Or are close games more dangerous because the excitement drives up testosterone levels?”

Games rated as nail-biters are far more likely to result in traffic fatalities — but only for fans of the winning team.

Wood and researchers from the University of South Carolina (USC) evaluated traffic fatalities after 271 games played between 2001 and 2008, including championship, tournament and rivalry games in professional and college football and basketball. The researchers looked at traffic fatality data in the area where the game was played, and in the hometowns of the winning and losing teams. Read more:  http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2011/03/11/189914.htm

Posted 6:51 PM  View Comments

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