Tourism Growth May Spur More Car Accidents

Despite last year’s Gulf oil crisis and last season’s hurricanes, Florida’s tourism industry continues to survive. With attractions that include The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Disney World and the Florida Keys, the Sunshine State offers more than beaches and surf to tourists. Experts predict that the 2011 tourism season will offer tourists even more restaurant, hotel and attraction discounts and deals. If this occurs, the nation’s fourth-largest state might see unwelcome statistics: increased tourist car accidentsand injuries.

According to the Florida’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, 2,430 motor vehicle fatalities occurred in 2010. This figure represents a 30-year low in traffic-related fatalities. While this decline is commendable, Florida is still considered one of the worst states for pedestrians and bicyclists. In 2008, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 11.1 percent of pedestrian deaths and 17.4 percent of the bicyclists killed were in the state of Florida. That same year, more 80.3 million tourists visited the state.

Florida’s large population, tourism, increased development and attractive climate are all significant risk factors for accidents and injuries. However, other considerations such as distracted driving, impaired driving and lack of tourist familiarity with the roadways increases the risk of car and truck accidents. Tourists might assume some risks while visiting theme parks, trails and restaurants but don’t assume that accidents will ruin their Florida vacation.

For individuals far from home and with limited resources, an injury or property loss and damage can create undue financial hardship, confusion, emotional strains and an end to a planned and expensive holiday. Any injured person has the right to recover losses, and in the case of a tourist, these can include the financial losses for vacation expenses, medical costs, unique inconveniences and other damages. For these situations, a reputable and knowledgeable personal injury attorney might be needed to adequately protect rights and interests.

Vacations are meant to free people from their everyday stresses, and Florida is one destination that offers lands of fantasy and proverbial paradises. However, awareness and safety are not optional if an individual or family wants to truly enjoy the time away from home.

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