Spring Break and Auto Accidents
The Georgia Department of Transportation reports that in 2017, 1,549 people were killed in car accidents on Georgia roadways. More than half of those killed were not wearing their seatbelts. In its attempt to reduce the number of fatalities, Georgia is continuing its “Drive Alert Arrive Alive” education campaign with standard reminders to drivers of safe driving principles.
In keeping with the “Drive Alert Arrive Alive” education plan, in March 2018, the commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety issued a press release cautioning drivers to be extra careful during March and April, traditional months when students are on spring break. Families may be taking their first vacation of the year. High school and college students may be driving with their friends to popular beach destinations. No matter the reason, there are more drivers on the road, so there are more chances of getting into an accident.
Research Report Concerning Spring Break and Auto Accidents
The University of Miami published a report in 2015 in which researchers found that car accident fatalities are significantly higher during spring break months than at other times of the year. Roadways are more dangerous, not just for those students on spring break, “but also for the residents and other visitors of popular spring break destinations.” This is because:
- There are more vehicles on the roads.
- Drivers may not take enough breaks in their zeal to get to their destination – speed and drowsy driving are major factors.
- When they arrive at their destination, drivers are unfamiliar with the area and, for example, may drive the wrong way on a one-way street, not see obstacles when parking or entering the roadway after parking, and get distracted easily if they get lost in the new town.
The researchers also found:
- Death tolls increase by 9.1 percent during spring break months.
- Car crash fatalities are more likely to involve out-of-state drivers.
- Fatal spring break car crashes were more frequently associated with drivers under the age of 25.
- Although the public impression is that spring break is associated with heavy drinking, the study found no difference in alcohol related fatalities occurring during spring break months than any other part of the year.
Georgia Reels from Spring Break Accidents
One tragic accident still on the minds of many Georgia residents occurred in April 2016. Four young women were killed when the driver of their car suddenly veered out of her lane and slammed head-on into an oncoming vehicle. The accident occurred at about 9:00 p.m. when the students were returning to their school after a few days away. The driver was critically injured. The driver and four passengers were students at the University of Georgia.
In March 2018, one young Georgia high school student was killed when the driver, also a fellow classmate, lost control of her car and hit a tree. The driver was seriously injured. The accident occurred shortly before noon when the students were enjoying their senior skip day and were on their way to the mall, planning to shop for their spring break holiday.
Also in March 2018, a University of North Georgia student was returning from his spring break vacation in Panama City, Florida, when the car he was riding in overturned. He was not wearing his seat belt. He was killed when he was thrown from the car.
Steps to Decrease Your Chances of Becoming a Fatality Statistic
The Georgia Troopers’ Press Release concerning spring break travel includes several standard reminders for drivers:
- Make sure everyone has their seat belt fastened.
- Take time to carefully place children in their child safety seat with the restraints properly fastened.
- Expect heavier traffic than usual, so allow extra time to get to wherever you are going.
- Do not text while driving.
- Be alert for drivers pulling onto the roadway from a parking place on the street.
- Do not drive when fatigued or drowsy.
- Do not drink and drive. Have a designated driver or be prepared to use alternative transportation.
If you were in a car accident, whether during the spring break months, summer months or any other time of the year, or someone you care about was killed, Georgia Trial Attorneys can help. We offer free consultations and only take a fee if we win. The law requires you to bring your claim within a certain period of time after the accident, so contact us as soon as possible. We will work with you to obtain the best settlement or verdict possible.