Spring break in Florida can be a dream come true for many young students finally getting away from demanding classwork and part-time jobs; but what begins as a fun weekend trip can quickly end in a tragic auto accident. The number of traffic accidents between February and April spikes significantly, and fatalities can be as much as 9 percent higher in spring break destinations during March, most involving out-of-state drivers and those under the age of 25. Unfortunately, many of these accidents are the result of impaired driving. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reported more than 32,000 accidents in Florida last March alone that killed 44 people; 478 of the drivers involved in those crashes had alcohol in their system. Right here in Marion County, there were 13 deaths and 79 injuries from auto accidents due to intoxicated drivers in 2015. To prevent becoming one of these statistics, it is extremely important to take precautionary measures to ensure your safety.
Safety Tips For Spring Breakers
Remember that while spring break is a great time for fun, DUIs and auto accidents can cause consequences that last well beyond your college years. If you plan to take a trip this spring, follow these tips to protect yourself and your friends.
- Appoint a designated driver, if you plan to drink alcohol. Do not drive drunk, and do not allow your friends to drive drunk.
- Walk or take a taxi, if you cannot find a designated driver. Ride-share companies like Uber are available in most locations, and many companies offer free or discounted rides during peak dangerous times like spring break.
- Be responsible if you plan to drink. Know your limits, and be vigilant in ensuring that neither you nor your friends pass those limits.
- Call the police if you suspect that someone is attempting to drive while intoxicated.
- Remember that your judgment is impaired while you are drinking, so plan ahead to have a prearranged ride or designated driver. Waiting until the last minute to find a ride can result in poor decisions.
- Texting and driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Refrain from using your phone while driving, and insist that your friends do so too. Plan ahead on where and when you will meet up with friends to avoid needing to use your phone while driving.
Safety Tips For Florida Residents
Even if you are not engaging in spring break, you may still be involved in an accident due to others’ behavior. Reduce your risk as much as possible by following these tips.
- Avoid driving late at night during bar or party hours.
- Change your route to avoid crowded bar or beach areas that may be filled with intoxicated or inexperienced drivers.
- Practice defensive driving and stay alert to avoid crashes with other impaired drivers. They may not be paying attention, but the more you do, the more protected you will be.
- Do not hesitate to report drunk or impaired drivers to protect everyone on the road.
- Do not text and drive. This can lead you to be equally as distracted as a drunk driver and cause an accident.
If You Are Involved In an Accident
Despite all of the safety precautions you may take, accidents still happen. If you are in an auto accident in Ocala or surrounding areas, let our experience at Piccin & Glynn help. John Piccin has handled hundreds of auto accident cases and is prepared to answer your questions, negotiate with insurance companies, and even make home or hospital visits to ensure you get the support you need. Call us at 352-581-6174 or contact us online today.