From horse racing aficionados to casual fans, the first Saturday in May is a much-anticipated event devoted to the most high-profile thoroughbred racing event. The “run for the roses,” also known as the Kentucky Derby, is coming soon.
The annual gathering attracts more fans than the Superbowl, hosting close to 150,000 spectators from every corner of the world, using all forms of transportation. Getting to Churchill Downs is a challenge in itself, with record numbers of vehicles coming to Derby City. Those who travel with horse trailers must maintain the highest standards of motor vehicle operation.
The potential for catastrophe
Congested roads are par for the course even before arriving in the southern part of Louisville. Once there, more than two dozen streets will be closed to motor vehicles. Add to that the possibility of numerous vehicles driven by those who may have had one mint julep too many. The chance of a collision resulting in catastrophic injuries can happen, particularly pedestrians walking amidst the cars and trucks going to Churchill Downs.
Once there, fans from throughout the US and around the world gather and celebrate around the clock whiling the streets of Louisville. However, with the revelry also comes the possibility of serious accidents.
The job of law enforcement is to keep an eye on the crosswalks and side streets, not to mention the countless motor vehicles where drivers should maintain high levels of caution. Derby pedestrians are everywhere, increasing the chance that the combination of drinking and distractions leads to tragic outcomes.
The best-case scenario is enjoying time at the annual horse-racing event. The worst-case scenario is suffering injuries due to negligent drivers easily distracted or under the influence.