Snowbirds and Tourists Bring Accident Risks South for the Winter

You can usually tell a snowbird by the how they dress. When the temperatures drop and the rest of us are bundled up in our thickest winter gear, they’re strolling down the beach in their shorts and flip flops. You can also tell a snowbird by the way they drive a lot of the time, too. The truth of the matter is that it’s that time of the year when our roads are most dangerous for residents and tourists alike.

Our stores are a lot busier, there is a longer wait at our favorite restaurant and our roadways are packed. While the South Florida economy thrives off of the business of our friends who come south for the winter, you would do well to make the necessary adjustments when behind the wheel — and that includes allowing more time to reach your destination.

Our Fort Myers car accident lawyers understand that more traffic means higher risks for accidents. Unfortunately, “season” is when we see some of the highest risks for accidents. And we’re in the heart of season now. These drivers don’t always know where they’re going and are in no hurry to get there. It’s important that we work together to accommodate this seasonal traffic.

Travelers from the Northeast typically take Interstate 95, which runs from Maine to Florida while those from the Midwest use Interstate 75, which runs from Michigan to Florida.

You should be aware of the top causes of accidents, including speeding, distracted driving and drunk driving. You want to be especially careful around intersections, where rear-end accidents as well as bicycle and pedestrian accidents are most likely to occur.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were about 10,500 people killed in speeding-related car accidents in the U.S. in 2010. These account for about a third of all fatal auto accidents recorded throughout the year. You can eliminate the desire to speed by leaving earlier for your destination. You know you’re going to have to deal with traffic and potential traffic delays. Your best bet is to allow yourself plenty of time to get to where you need to be. It’s also your safest bet!

Distracted driving is also a growing problem in the U.S. According to Distraction.gov, there were more than 3,330 people killed in distraction-related car accidents in 2010. Most of these accidents were caused by cell phone-using drivers. Again, these are accidents that are completely preventable. Put down the phone and keep your eyes on the road!

Drunk driving is also a driving behavior that is completely inexcusable. There’s never a good reason to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. According to the NHTSA, there were more than 10,000 people killed in alcohol-related accidents in the U.S. in 2010. These accidents accounted for more than 30 percent of the total traffic fatalities recorded for the year.

The moral of the story is to be careful out there. You know what to expect with tourist and snowbird season. Prepare for it and help to improve safety along our roadways by practicing your safest driving habits!