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Spring Break is Here!

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Florida’s beautiful beaches and booming tourism industry welcomes thousands of spring breakers every year. While tourists are great for Florida’s economy, there are some consequences that result from hosting partygoers during spring break.

As more drivers enter our Florida roadways this spring break season, the odds of a encountering a drunk driver are even higher. According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle Department, there were more than 15 crashes each day in March 2016 that involved drivers who registered alcohol levels above the legal limit.

In effort to combat drunk drivers on the road, the Florida Highway Patrol and other state and local law enforcement agencies will be focusing on enforcing the state’s drinking age laws and working to keep impaired drivers off the roads.

Even responsible spring break vacationers who choose to make the right decision not to drink and drive can still be dangerous. A risky behavior which many drivers engage in is distracted driving. Most of us have become dependent on technology in one way or another, but out-of-town visitors may be even more distracted if they are using a navigation system with their cell phone as they make their way to our beautiful beaches. Driving while using an electronic device is dangerous and can cause the same level of harm that drinking and driving causes.

Not All Accidents Are on the Road

While drunk drivers account for many of the injuries that occur during Spring Break, there are as many injuries which take place off the roads. In hopes of taking advantage of the spring break season, many hotels will allow the overcrowding of rooms, pool areas, and beaches. Once alcohol is added to the already dangerous mix of excited spring breakers, reports of swimming and boating accidents increase dramatically. Additionally, spring breakers can be involved in deadly falls from hotel and club balconies.

A few years ago, two teenage girls suffered permanent injuries when they lost control of their parasail during a Spring Break trip to Panama City, Florida. The parasail was pulled away from the motorboat and the young girls were pushed into a hotel balcony and power lines, before they were dropped into a parking lot and slammed into park cars. Although both girls survived, unfortunately they both suffered brain injuries. After the near fatal accident, their family members lobbied to change Florida’s parasailing laws. The Florida legislature adopted measures that now require parasailing companies to carry basic insurance and adhere to high wind restrictions. However, the Florida legislature refused to pass a “distance from shore” restriction, and many parasailing companies during the busy Spring Break season stay close to shore to attract other thrill seekers.

Boating and jet skiing are year-round activities for Floridians, but the increase of spring breakers on the beach means a greater risk for a boating or jet ski accident. According to the North American Safe Boating Campaign, there are 3,300 boating related casualties annually, with a majority of the casualties occurring March through May. This somber statistic is a good reminder to always wear a life vest while boating and jet skiing, and check the weather updates before heading out.

If you or a loved one is injured while on Spring Break, call Beltz & Beltz today at 727-201-9944 or 813-559-9090, and speak with one of our lawyers to discuss your case. The call is free.

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