In a few short weeks, most colleges and universities will be celebrating one of the most hallowed traditions among students everywhere: spring break.
Unfortunately, spring break poses a number of dangers that could turn what should be a celebration into a disaster, derailing your college and career plans indefinitely while you recover in a hospital or rehabilitation facility following an accident. Here are two major tips to keep spring break safe.
1. Avoid binge drinking.
Despite the laws designed to stop those under 21 from drinking and crackdowns on laws that prohibit alcohol at some traditional spring break hangouts, like beaches, binge drinking is considered the greatest danger of spring break overall.
Data from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism indicates that nearly half of all college students binge drink—but spring break seems to increase the activity to the extreme. One study indicated that the average male on spring break drank 18 drinks per day. The average female drank up to 10 drinks per day. Both are well above any sort of safe level of alcohol consumption.
Aside from the obvious dangers of doing something foolish while drunk that could endanger your health—like jumping off a balcony into a pool (and hitting concrete instead) or getting into a fight with someone—binge drinking puts an incredible stress on your body. You can easily end up with alcohol poisoning, which suppresses the body's involuntary reflex to keep breathing. Your gag reflex can be impaired, causing you to easily choke on your own vomit if you get sick. You can also lapse into a coma or have alcohol-induced seizures.
2. Stay out of traffic.
A study published recently in Economic Inquiry found that death tolls in 14 popular spring break destinations jumped 9.1% during spring break, with a higher fatality rate among drivers under 25 years old and those traveling from out of state.
Some of the traffic fatalities may be linked to the problems associated with alcohol abuse mentioned above, but it's also likely that many are the result of a combination of more people on foot and in cars on crowded roads inside destination spots and distracted driving as people try to scope out the sites, find a street address, turn the music in the car to a better channel, or just chat with friends.
Reduce your risk of being a victim by using public transportation like buses and taxis when available so that you aren't contributing to the traffic congestion. If you are driving, stay focused on the task and don't allow yourself to get distracted by either the sites or your friends. If you are on foot, stick to crosswalks and well-lit areas. Make sure that you have on reflective clothing at night and don't cross against the light, even if the street doesn't look that busy.
If you are injured in an accident this spring break, consider contacting an attorney for advice. Even if you were drinking, it doesn't necessarily mean that you can't recover some compensation for your injuries. A hotel that allowed students to run wild on balconies or around pools could be liable for not looking after the safety of guests. A driver who hits you while you are crossing the street could still be held accountable if he or she was driving distracted. Because each case is unique, let a personal injury attorney be your guide. Check out http://www.cohenandsiegellaw.com for more information.