Just a few weeks after Houston welcomed millions of visitors for Super Bowl LI, the city is gearing up for another round of festivities as the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ kicks off this week at NRG Park. Nearly 2.5 million people attended events throughout the 20-day rodeo season last year, and 2017 is expected to draw a similar audience. Amid the non-stop entertainment, free-flowing beer taps and heavy crowds, the Memorial Hermann Red Duke Trauma Institute wants to remind RodeoHouston visitors how to stay safe and drive sober this season.
- Drink responsibly. Know your limits and pace yourself to avoid consuming too many alcoholic beverages in a short period of time. There are many factors that influence your blood alcohol level, including weight and gender. But in general, men should consume no more than two drinks in the first hour and no more than one every hour afterward. Women should limit themselves to no more than one drink every hour to avoid intoxication. Have a meal beforehand, keep snacks handy while drinking, and make sure to sip on water or sports drinks between alcoholic beverages to stay hydrated.
- Plan your ride. Designate a sober driver, call a cab or plan on using a rideshare service to get to and from the rodeo grounds. Prices for ridesharing services like Uber often spike during events with heavy attendance, so be sure to incorporate the extra expense into your evening budget.
- Never drink and drive. Those who drive under the influence put themselves and others at risk. Every 51 minutes, one person in the United States dies in a motor vehicle collision involving an intoxicated driver, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Stay alert. Beware of your surroundings while driving through the rodeo grounds and parking lots. Foot traffic is especially heavy during RodeoHouston and pedestrians aren’t always paying attention. Make sure you stay aware and alert at all times. This means avoiding texting and driving, or any other possible distractions.
- Walk safely. Make sure to always cross the street at corners or crosswalks and walk on sidewalks or paths whenever possible. If you must walk in the street, stay near the edge of the road and face oncoming traffic.
- Get rest. With so much to see and do, visitors often plan on attending events multiple nights in a row. Make sure you continue to get enough rest between shows. The CDC recommends adults get at least seven hours of sleep each night. Remember, drowsing driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving.
“The rodeo is always a fun-filled event for the entire family, but unfortunately we typically see a spike in trauma cases this time of year, usually related to intoxication,” said Dr. Samuel Prater, UTHealth emergency medicine physician and medical director of emergency services at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center. “Rodeo visitors can help keep themselves and others safe by making smart choices, drinking in moderation, and handing over the keys if they’re drinking. We want everyone to have fun but to also stay cautious.”
If you find yourself in need of emergency medical care this rodeo season, Memorial Hermann can help. Click here to learn more about Memorial Hermann’s emergency services.
For life-threatening emergencies, call 911.