Baseball season is well underway in Arizona and across the rest of the country and it brings with it the fun and excitement that only America’s pastime can conjure. Whether you are an avid baseball fan, a casual fan who may catch a statistics or two from time to time, or just someone who loves the hubbub surrounding the games, odds are that you are happy when the Arizona Diamondbacks are playing in the spring, summer, and fall.
The Diamondbacks are Arizona’s professional baseball team in the National League West division. They call downtown Phoenix home and play their home games at Chase Field. Though the Diamondbacks are less than 20 years old, they have had significant success and brought one World Series title to Phoenix during that time, letting the entire city celebrate the successes of this hard-working MLB franchise.
With so many positives surrounding the D-backs, it may be hard to step back and realize that the presence of baseball also has some safety concerns for those who are near Chase Field on game days. Specifically, the risk of pedestrian accidents in the area remains high when the D-backs are in town as unfamiliar drivers and confused motorists are present on our roadways.
Traffic patterns often are different on home game days than they are on other days. Thousands of driver will head toward downtown Phoenix to enjoy a game but those drivers may be less familiar with the city’s layout than motorists who pound the streets daily. As a result, there may be delays as drivers look for their intended parking lot or as they try to navigate streets that they have never been on before, leading to potential mistakes or errors by these motorists. Other drivers who are not expecting such confusion may be quick to act and may find themselves in a car accident that was caused by the unintentional conduct of a driver heading to a game.
The amount of traffic and distribution of the traffic pattern can vary somewhat depending on what team is playing at Chase Field. For instance, many Diamondback fans know the Phoenix area and how to get around efficiently but fans from other states or who do not call Maricopa County home may be less aware. These fans are more likely to drive themselves to the game as opposed to taking the light rail or other public transit options and are more likely to experience confusion. The teams that bring with them a larger traveling fan base may present greater risks of collisions in the downtown area as a result.
Unfortunately, alcohol is a factor in a number of incidents between cars, pedestrians, and pedestrians and cars. Some people choose to celebrate a baseball game with alcohol or beer and then fail to act in a responsible manner when they leave the ballpark, instead taking to the streets while they are intoxicated. Drunk driving is illegal in Arizona and it poses a threat not only to a drunk driver personally but also to those near the motorist as collisions are likely to result. Further, drunk pedestrians can show a significant lack of judgment by walking against traffic lights, crossing mid-block instead of at a marked intersection, or otherwise darting into traffic.
If you will be in Phoenix during baseball season, your best bet is to act in a personally responsible manner to improve your odds of safety. When in doubt, decrease your speed while driving and be prepared to stop with only a moment’s notice. If you are walking, make sure you stick to sidewalks and only cross where and when indicated that it is safe to do so. Anticipate confusion among motorists and do not assume they will yield the right-of-way to you.
Prior Blog Entry:
Rear-End Car Accidents Can Be Serious in Phoenix, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published June 3, 2016.