Few of those seeking a sunny respite from the monotony of college courses and part-time jobs consider that spring break has a host of potential dangers.
West Palm Beach injury lawyers have learned that our city was ranked 5th in the nation as the most dangerous spring break destination, according to a survey by Avvo.com.
Other Florida cities that made the list include Orlando (No.1), Daytona Beach (No. 2), Panama City (No. 8), Jacksonville (No. 9,), Miami (No. 10). Rounding out the top 20 were Fort Myers (No. 11), Fort Lauderdale (No. 13), Key West (No. 15) and Naples (No. 18).
All total, that’s half of the top 20. Part of that is simply because Florida is a primary spring break destination. The ratings were based on a number of variables, including risks of rapes, murders, fatal car crashes, drowning and overdoses.
A recent story by ABC News indicated that the greatest risk to spring breakers is binge drinking. It’s hard to separate this from other potential risks, but in and of itself, it can be deadly. Earlier this month, a 20-year-old from Michigan died while celebrating spring break in Panama City. An autopsy revealed alcohol poisoning was the cause of death.
Numerous studies have shown that binge drinking among teenagers and young adults is a major problem. It’s amplified though during spring break because it’s considered part of the experience. You’re SUPPOSED to get drunk and wild and crazy, and many vacationers feel an enormous amount of pressure to engage in that behavior just to fit in. But all too often, it can lead to serious illness, poor decision-making, and sadly, even death.
Binge drinking is described as the rapid consumption of four or five more drinks in a row. It can quickly lead to poisoning. Spring breakers should seek medical attention for a friend if he or she:
–Has breathed less than eight times a minute;
–Has uncontrolled vomiting;
–Has skin that looks pale or blue-tinged;
–Is having seizures.
Never just assume someone can sleep it off. Better to be safe and make the phone call.
Another thing you want to avoid is wandering out alone or losing track of your friends. Especially if you’re drinking, you become a vulnerable target for both property crimes and violent crimes.
Avoid this by formulating a plan with your friends before you get to your destination for the night. Pick a location to meet in case you lose one another. Arrive with your friends and leave with your friends.
Also make it a point to keep an eye on your drinks. Drugs like Ketamine, GBH and Rohypnol are frequently used as date rape drugs that are slipped into drinks. Hold your drink the entire time. If you set it down or walk away from it, consider it gone. If you notice your drink tastes or looks funny, toss it and find your friends immediately.
Minimize your risk of theft crimes by keeping your valuables locked in a safe location. Don’t flash cash or valuables in public. Travel in packs to reduce your risk.
Call Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights.
Miami Ranked 10th Most Dangerous Spring Break Destination, March 8, 2011, By Kyle Munzenrieder, Miami New Times
More Blog Entries:
South Florida Tourist Drowning a Tragic Reminder of Risks, March 21, 2013, West Palm Beach Personal Injury Lawyer Blog