Spring Break Brings Vehicle Dangers
Popular spring break destinations are bracing for an onslaught of teenagers and young adults over the next couple of months. As sunny beach locations prepare for crowded restaurants, bars, beaches, and roads, it is important for parents all over to have conversations with their spring breakers prior to their departure. In the past, we’ve covered spring break tips and dangers, and there are many. The riskiest behavior enacted by spring breakers is binge drinking, especially when combined with other common activities. While binge drinking carries risks alone, it also heightens risks for those who are likely to be swimming, driving, spending time in the sun, and socializing (when fights, assaults, and sexual assaults can occur).
Over a million high school and college students take a spring break trip each year, and while binge drinking is problematic on college campuses year-round, the issue becomes critical during spring break. In fact, a study published by the American College Health Association found that on average, women on spring break consume 10 alcoholic drinks a day while men drink 18 alcoholic beverages each day. No doubt this plays a role in the hundreds of thousands of assaults and 23% increase in DUIs during the week-long celebrations. The reality is that the DUIs are merely a single indicator of the driving-related dangers young people face while on spring break.
The Perfect Storm
Car crashes are always a serious concern for the parents of young drivers, yet the factors involved in spring break amplify the risks many times. The increased likelihood of drunk driving and the number of teenagers or young people in a single vehicle both can contribute to higher rates of car crashes. The impact of drinking and driving on reaction times, perception, and risk-taking behavior behind the wheel is well known; however, many people are unaware that the larger the number of teenagers or young people in a vehicle (assuming one is the driver), the greater the risk of an accident. This is largely due to an increase of distractions to the driver, which can take many forms, such as taking eyes off the road to have a conversation, loud music, use of technology and media, eating while driving, etc. When you also consider most spring breakers are in unfamiliar locations, it truly is a recipe for disaster.
There are several commonsense pieces of advice that can help keep young people safe from car crashes during spring break. Though nothing can guarantee safety, following the below suggestions can go a long way toward preventing accidents.
- Don’t drink and drive. Have a designated driver at all times—take turns if you need to do so.
- Minimize distractions to the driver. It is everyone’s job to ensure the driver is not distracted by technology or other individuals in the car. Having a responsible person next to the driver in the front seat can be helpful.
- Wear a seat belt at all times. No matter how many precautions you may be taking, an accident is always a possibility. Seatbelts reduce your risk of serious injury significantly.
- Know your surroundings. Spring breakers can be easy targets for those looking to do harm. It is critical to be aware of your physical surroundings, including where you are driving, as well as the people around you.
Are you experiencing pain, suffering, or loss as a result of someone else’s selfish decision to use drugs or alcohol and then operate a vehicle? Our experienced vehicular accident attorneys are well known in Indianapolis for helping victims in their time of need. Were you injured in a crash caused by a driver under the influence? Don’t wait—contact Wagner Reese for a FREE consultation to discuss your case: (888) 204-8440.