Staying Safe During Spring Break
There are many issues a spring breaker could run into in their week of bliss. The following highlights the biggest dangers, and explains effective methods for minimizing the danger you’ll face while on Spring Break.
A new study by Science Daily shows that in warm climate, spring break “hot spots,” automobile accidents dramatically increase. This isn’t even directly attributed to alcohol; the study found that the number of alcohol related accidents more or less remained constant. The increased number of vehicles on the roadways was usually enough to raise accident levels for the various weeks in which students visited beach areas for spring break. This translates into about 16 more driving fatalities each year, all attributable to spring break. What does this mean for spring breakers? Avoid driving if you can. Especially avoid driving while intoxicated. Before you roll into the beach community, check your public transportation options to and from the places you’ll go, from the beach to the grocery store to the bar later on at night. Go to bars and nightclubs close by, and you might just successfully avoid an accident.
Refrain. If you know refraining from binge drinking isn’t realistic for you, then at least take the necessary precautions. Make sure a friend is accountable for you, and will notice if you wander off or need assistance. Only drink your own alcohol, and you can stay somewhat in control. Eat a hearty meal before you begin drinking for the night. Pace yourself. Generally make good decisions while you’re consuming alcohol.
Be Mindful of Your Surroundings
When you’re driving, pay attention. If you’re in a car full of others, make sure whoever is riding shotgun with you stays awake to monitor the driver. When you’re out and about, make sure to travel in packs. While it may seem unlikely that you will join any of the stories both high and low profile, of assault, kidnapping, or sexual assault while away on spring break, do not take the chances. More than 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape; More than 690,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking.
One of the best things you can do for your health is asking the tough questions. Before you engage in any sexual activity, ask your potential partner if they have been tested. If they haven’t, you should reconsider sleeping with them. Even if you do, always use a condom. 75% of students reported never or rarely using a condom during Spring Break, and 88% of females said they rarely worry about. Don’t be this stupid. You are at risk, and you could very well regret it later.
In the Event of Emergency
If you’re in a large party, make sure to exchange cell phone numbers to stay accountable for each other. Do not leave your things unattended. Arrange for everyone to meet in a common location in the event that someone gets lost. And put all local response numbers in your phone, such as the local police number for non-life threatening issues, and local doctors offices.
Have the conversations with your friends. They can be quick conversations, as long as you cover everything. Then kick back, and enjoy the rest of your week of total freedom.