Spring Break is here for many high school and college campuses across the country, and that means students are ready to let off some steam. According to newly released study from the University of Miami, however, Spring Breakers eager to embark on road trips, vacations, or parties may spell disaster for public roadways.
Here are some key points about the study:
- The study began after a health economics professor noticed an increase in distracted and unsafe drivers during Spring Break near the University of Miami. His observations led him to study whether Spring Breakers have an adverse impact on traffic safety.
- Researchers analyzed traffic crash statistics from 14 popular Spring Break destinations and compared them with national crash data. Ultimately, they found that traffic deaths increase by 9% during Spring Break. The data revealed that many of the accidents involved young and out-of-state motorists.
- Contrary to researchers’ expectations, drunk driving did not significantly contribute to the spike in roadway fatalities. Instead, the study suggests that driver distraction could be the largest contributing factor, as Spring Breakers may be more inclined to text and use cell phones behind the wheel, are more likely to have passengers, and may be preoccupied with planned activities. Fatigue may also play a role, especially after long road trips or long nights.
The study helps remind us all about the importance of staying safe during Spring Break, not only during special activities or vacations, but also on the road. Texas is home to many colleges and it’s important for everyone to drive with vigilance.