Spring Break ranks directly behind the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s as the busiest time to visit Orlando and the theme park area. Because the traditional week off for Spring Break is staggered throughout the U.S., it creates a spike in visitors to The City Beautiful over a period of a few weeks. And with Easter falling later this spring, it means that “spring break season” will be longer.
For 2016, the Spring Break season unofficially begins March 12 and ends April 4. Preliminary data shows that in March of 2015, there were more than 32,000 crashes statewide, at least 400 involved drivers who registered alcohol levels above the legal limit, resulting in 230 injuries and more than 35 fatalities. In Florida last year, more than ten percent of all teen crashes in March involved alcohol. In fact, drivers under 21 accounted for more than 383 crashes involving alcohol in Florida in 2015, resulting in 234 injuries and 30 fatalities.
The Florida Highway Patrol is stepping up its enforcement efforts this month, with an emphasis on impaired drivers. Although the term “impaired” typically refers to drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, it can also include any driver who is exhibiting difficulty with the driving process itself. A driver may be impaired by drowsiness, confusion, distractions inside or outside the vehicle, aggression, talking or texting on the cell phone, and a variety of other factors. You can help manage your risk by being able to spot an impaired driver and keep your distance.
You should scan the general driving area and take notice of any drivers who are:
- Drifting in and out of their lane;
- Speeding or driving at erratic speeds (i.e. – speeding, then slowing down suddenly);
- Exhibiting odd behavior such as stopping at a green light;
- Displaying aggressive driving behavior such as following too closely.
Take the following actions if you recognize an impaired driver:
- Reduce your speed. This will provide an added cushion between you and the impaired driver, allowing you more reaction time.
- Continue to keep your eyes on the road. Do not become so distracted by the impaired driver that you cause an accident yourself.
- Increase your following distance from other vehicles. If you follow the vehicle in front of you (close, but not too closely), you will be forced to focus on that vehicle to avoid a rear-end collision.
- Check the space cushion all around your vehicle. Make sure you have not compromised your space cushion in your effort to move away from the impaired driver. Make any necessary corrections carefully and signal for all lane changes.
- Resume your scan of the driving scene. Impaired drivers are common in popular vacation spots throughout Florida, so always make sure you are on the lookout.
- Take down the impaired driver’s license plate. If you think an impaired driver is in imminent danger of causing a crash, ask a passenger to take down their license plate number, a description of the vehicle and the vehicle’s location. Have your passenger contact law enforcement with this information or pull off the road so you can do so safely yourself.
For More Information:
- Spring Break Safety – How to Identify an Impaired Driver
- DHSMV REMINDS MOTORISTS NOT TO DRINK AND DRIVE THIS SPRING BREAK
Be Safe And Have Fun On Your Spring Break Trip
Spring Break is a peak travel time in Florida, which increases the likelihood of accidents on the road. Car accidents and pedestrian accidents often occur during this time as a result of drivers’ unfamiliarity with Florida roadways, traffic patterns and unsafe driving behaviors. At the Law Firm of Michael T. Gibson, P.A., we want you to stay safe when traveling to your Spring Break destination. If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident, it is important that you contact an experienced Orlando Auto Accident Lawyer immediately. Our experienced team of accident attorneys can help you obtain compensation for medical bills, future medical treatment, loss of wages, pain and suffering, etc. Feel free to fill out our quick contact form on our website to discuss your legal options in greater detail.