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Risks for Accidents in Fort Lauderdale Increased with College Students, Alcohol, Unsafe Properties, Waterways

Although we’re at the tail end of Spring Break, we still have thousands of visitors in South Florida so it is prudent to remember safety remains a top priority. According to recent studies from the University of South Florida’s Alcohol and Substance Use Research Institute, alcohol use among college students follows strict seasonal patterns. One of the most active seasons is Spring Break in Florida. It’s important to stay safe and to help ensure that those around you are safe at all times. This means that if you decide to drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation, never drink and drive, and ensure that property owners are keeping their premises safe and secure for guests. With just a few safety precautions, we can all do our part to help reduce the risks of an accident in Fort Lauderdale over the spring holiday.

“Spring break is a holiday defined by drinking,” said Richard Reich, an assistant professor of psychology at USF Sarasota-Manatee.

Our Fort Lauderdale injury lawyers understand that being away from people who would typically restrict behavior is a big trigger for drinking. It’s not just being away from home, but it’s also being away from school, class and the library. Some of the most horrifying news headlines over this holiday every year include college students drinking themselves into the hospital, drinking and driving, falling off balconies and other catastrophic events.

In one effort to help to reduce the risks of Spring Break accidents, officers with the Fort Lauderdale Police Department have been setting checkpoints near and along the beach, according to the Sun Sentinel. Officers will be randomly selecting vehicles to check. They’ll be looking for valid drivers’ licenses, impaired drivers, proofs of insurance and vehicle registrations. The goal is not only to nab intoxicated drivers but to help increase awareness about the importance of public safety on the beach during Spring Break.

Spring Breakers are also warned about swimming. No, we’re not saying don’t go swimming; we’re just saying please do so safely, especially if you’ve been drinking.

“We lead the nation in accidental drownings,” said Broward County Sheriff Al Lamberti. There were nearly 15 drownings in Broward County alone in 2011.

Unfortunately, Spring Break is also a time when we see a plethora of accidents at Florida hotels. Oftentimes, the reported headlines we hear about during Spring Break are falls over balconies and other similar catastrophic events. According to Florida law, property owners are required to minimize the dangers and the accident risks of dangerous balconies by making sure all balconies meet the minimum safety and design specifications. This means that balconies in hotels, rental condos and other properties are required to have railings that are at least 42 inches high. Under Florida law, the bars on these balcony railings are to be no more than four inches apart. This is used to reduce the chances of a person squeezing through the bars and falling over.

If a hotel fails to maintain these standards, the hotel may be found negligent. When a guest is injured as a result of the owner’s negligence, compensation may be collected, including compensation for pain, suffering, lost wages and medical expenses.

If you or someone who is close to you has been injured in a Fort Lauderdale accident over Spring Break, contact the South Florida personal injury lawyers at Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez. Call today to schedule a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-529-2368.

Additional Resources:


Click It or Ticket Challenge Continues Through March 31
, Fort Lauderdale Police Department

More Blog Entries:

Recent Accidents highlight risks of Elevator Accidents in Sunrise and Elsewhere, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, January 4, 2012

Florida Tourist Killed in Parasailing Accident, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, July 10, 2011

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