Keep your car in tip-top shape while tailgating this football season

Avoid any vehicular fumbles this season.

Fall is for football. And for many fans, tailgating is a major part of the experience. There’s nothing quite like gathering with your friends and family before the big game, grilling a delicious BBQ feast, and showing off your cornhole and KanJam skills.

If you’re hosting a tailgate, your car is exposed to countless other people and vehicles. In this craziness, you want to make sure that you’re fully prepared for any fumbles.

The tips below will help keep you and your vehicle safe during your next tailgate so that no matter the outcome of the game, everyone wins!

Practice grill safety. Make sure your grill is at least six feet away from any cars or other combustibles. Never grill on top of your vehicle, and never leave the grill unattended. For extra safety precaution, always keep a fire extinguisher on hand in case of emergency. And if you’re using a charcoal grill, double check that the coals are cool before putting them back into your car.

Keep game day accessories away from the flames. The last thing that you want is to see your favorite foam finger or lucky team blanket combust and cause a dangerous fire before the start of the game. Make sure to keep your prized possessions a safe distance from the fire on the grill.

Stick with plastic cups and cans. Mistakes happen. And in the middle of the pre-game fun, you don’t want to worry about cleaning up broken bottles or plates that can puncture tires or injure other people. Bring out the red solo cups and koozies for your tailgate beverages.

Designate a driver. Before the beginning of the day, make sure that you designate a sober driver. Drinking and driving is a serious offense, so stay smart and make sure that you have a plan to get home safely. If you notice your DD is double-fisting, keep the Uber or Lyft app handy.

Clear the area. After the fun and festivities are over, make sure that the tailgate area is completely cleaned up before you leave. Be sure to check that the lot is free of bottles or broken glass that could damage your vehicle or tires if you run them over.

Consider leaving the game early. If the game is so close that you’re on the edge of your seat waiting to see if it goes into overtime, the chances are that leaving early is not an option. But, if your team has been dominating throughout the entire game (or the opposite), it may be wise to leave a few minutes early to avoid the post-game traffic frenzy.

Exit with caution. Almost every other car will be attempting to leave the lot at the same time as you when the tailgate is over. Make sure that you’re driving with extra caution when leaving the lot. In addition to cars, there can be many pedestrians who aren’t paying attention to where they’re going.

Sinclair Broadcast Group is committed to keeping our viewers accident-free, which is why we initiated the Drive Safe campaign. Steer clear of danger with our monthly tips.