5 Florida Summer Dangers & How To Minimize Your & Your Family’s Risk
Summer is one of the most fun times of year in Florida, but also one of the most deadly. The increased number of teenagers and tourists on the roads, the increased usage of pools, the increased number of boaters out on the water, increased alcohol consumption, and the stormy summer weather all contribute to a more dangerous season for the Sunshine State. If you live in Florida or plan to travel here at any point this summer, being aware of the potential Florida summer dangers is the first – and one of the most important! – steps you can take to keep you and your family safe from accidents and injuries.
At The Florida Law Group, we’re well aware of the many Florida summer dangers that exist, because we’re personal injury lawyers who have spent the last 38+ years helping injured accident victims across the state recover compensation for their injuries. Here are 5 common risks inherent to summers here and 5 ways that you can avoid the dangers!
Florida Summer Danger #1 – Car Crashes
According to the Florida DMV, summer is the most common season for auto accidents in Florida. Car crashes peak in July and August especially, and the latter sees more fatal car crashes than any other month. Another reason for the amount of car accidents (besides the primary reasons mentioned above, including a high presence of tourists who are unfamiliar with Florida roads and highways, afternoon storms, major summer holidays, and more people drinking), is tire blowouts. Hot temperatures can cause the air inside tires to expand and burst in older tires. An average of 535 people are killed each year in accidents involving a tire blowout across the U.S.; the Florida sun may be responsible for many of those.
More people traveling on the roads of our state in summer make car crashes a very real Florida summer danger. If you’re going to be driving, do everything in your power to drive well and keep your passengers safe. Wear a seatbelt, put your phone away, don’t drink and drive, obey the speed limit, check your tires before leaving your house, and ensure you carry the proper amount of insurance!
Florida Summer Danger #2 – Drowning
When more people are in the water, the danger of drowning increases. Adult swimmers and boaters are also at risk, but child drownings are particularly and tragically frequent in Florida (and across the U.S.). Drowning is the second leading cause of death nationwide for children ages 1 – 19, and 1,000 children across the country die from unintentional drowning every single year. In 2021, more children in Florida under the age of 5 died from drowning than in any other state. 2021 was also the worst year for child drownings in over a decade in Florida, with fatal child drownings increasing by nearly 30%. Between March and April 2021 alone, the Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children saw a 600% rise in child drownings (both fatal and critical) compared to 2020.
Drowning can happen in seconds, and it is usually silent. To avoid this Florida summer danger, parents and adults need to practice hypervigilance. When kids are in the pool, or at the beach, at a Florida spring, or even in the bathtub, an adult should be watching them constantly, and without distractions. It’s encouraged for kids to take early swim lessons, for parents to know CPR, and to have pool fences. Both children and adults should wear life jackets while out on the water.
Florida Summer Danger #3 – Drunk Driving
MoneyGeek analyzed historical data to forecast that 28% of drunk driving deaths nationwide will occur this summer. During the summer months in Florida, there is a significant increase in alcohol-related accidents, injuries, and fatalities compared to the rest of the year. There are many reasons for this; for one thing, summer is a time for people to unwind, and offers ample opportunities for alcohol consumption. There are three major holidays – Memorial Day weekend, July 4th weekend, and Labor Day weekend – which again are times where people typically consume alcohol. As Tom Brady evidenced in his famous Tampa Super Bowl boat parade incident, drinking in the hot Florida sun can lead to dehydration and make you more susceptible to alcohol’s effects (tourists especially may not be aware of this). Another reason why drunk driving increases during summer in Florida is because of underage drinking; teens are out of school and prone to partying. June, July, and August see 50% more drunk driving deaths among teens than any other time of year.
It’s okay to drink responsibly, but drunk driving is never permissible. Don’t get behind the wheel intoxicated, tipsy, or buzzed, because you could kill someone else or yourself. If you doubt whether you can drive, you probably shouldn’t. There are so many alternatives to drunk driving in Florida – there are hotels, Ubers, Lyfts, taxis, public transportation services, and other safe options!
Florida Summer Danger #4 – Motorcycle/Bicycle Accidents
Florida is the most dangerous state in the U.S. to ride a motorcycle or a bicycle in general, but especially during the summer. Just as car accidents increase, motorcycle and bicycle accidents increase also; due to the warm weather, more people are out enjoying these forms of transportation/exercise, but because of the increased number of tourists and teens and drunk drivers, and because of the summer storms, collisions are more likely to occur.
If you’re riding a motorcycle or a bicycle this summer in Florida, wear a helmet. Ride during the daytime or wear bright, reflective clothing to increase visibility at night.
Florida Summer Danger #5 – Boating Accidents
Florida has more registered boats than any other state (over 1 million) and it’s estimated that there are about a million unregistered recreational water vehicles (like canoes, paddleboards, etc.) as well. During the summer months in Florida, many of these boats and vehicles are on the water at the same time, which can result in collisions, injuries, and fatalities. An analysis of state data from 2015 to 2017 indicated that the highest number of Florida boating accidents occur on July 4th (which is consistent with the other Florida summer dangers in this blog).
Of the 402 boating accidents that occurred in Florida in 2020, 44% of them were due to operator inattention. If you’re driving a boat, conditions on the water can change quickly, so pay attention to the path ahead and to your surroundings. Don’t operate the boat recklessly, above the speed limit, or while intoxicated, and always ensure your boat equipment is properly maintained and that the boat has enough life jackets for everyone on board.
Injured? Call The Florida Law Group.
Sometimes you can take all the reasonable safety precautions and still be injured as a result of someone else’s negligent actions. If you or someone you love has been hurt in a Florida summer accident that wasn’t your fault, call The Florida Law Group. Our compassionate and aggressive personal injury lawyers can help you understand your options and fight for the maximum monetary compensation you deserve. To date, we’ve recovered over $1 billion for accident victims across the state of Florida, and we have 11 Florida locations to better serve you. You never have to pay us until we win! Contact us today to schedule your FREE consultation.