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Keep Your Kids Safe This Spring Break

Keep Your Kids Safe This Spring Break

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s Spring Break!!

For many students, spring break is a right of passage. What used to be a vacation with the family quickly turns into road trips with BFFs and all it beckons. Even though colleges around the country are scaling back spring break or cancelling it entirely to discourage partying that could spread the virus, there are currently no states under a stay-at-home advisory. In other words, Hello! Sunshine State, the Golden State or Sin City.

Of course, not everyone will be heading to the beaches and party hotspots. But whether your student is going to the beach with their friends or coming home for the week, what can you do to make sure they are safe on the road?

Where the Kids Are Off To

The pandemic’s onset didn’t stop the crowds last year, so will concerns of the new highly contagious variants and recommendations from health experts be enough to get students to resist the many ad campaigns and deals that the travel industry is pushing to rejuvenate tourism?

Some geographical locations are more popular than others for “spring breakers.” Many of these locations are warmer climates, which is often why the masses migrate there. Many of the students who go south for spring break (which is the majority of travellers) go for the warmer climate and beaches but end up in a more densely populated situation due to the additional tourists.

Some of the locales are impossible to drive to, which means that travellers have to take a plane and then rent a car once they are at their location. The car rental process can cause parents even more worry in a crowded and unfamiliar area.

The Top Spring Break Spots are Loosening Up

Cancun is, and will always be, the hottest Spring Break destination thanks to its easily accessible shoreline of white sands, beautiful coastline, and extremely active nightlife. If you have ever been to Cancun, you can agree that there is no lack of commercialism within the city, bringing all the American comforts to Mexico. This year’s attraction: Cancun has eased its restrictions to cater to an influx of spring break travellers. Several other popular resort destinations in Mexico, such as Playa del Carmen and Tulum, have loosened their COVID-19 travel restrictions just in time for Spring Break.

Closer to home, the Sunshine State is also gearing up for a busy March. A traditional spring break hotspot, Miami has seen hotel occupancy rates reach 90% for weekend bookings. Even with restrictions like alcohol bans, curfew and travel restrictions, and even with the Ultra Music Festival cancelled, the 2021 spring break season is expected to see Miami at its busiest since COVID-19 hit the US last year.

Many other states are also easing restrictions as spring break season begins. Texas and Mississippi both listed the mask mandate and travel restrictions. Pennsylvania also listed its travel restrictions and began allowing fans at professional sporting and entertainment events.

Speaking of sports, dozens of NBA and NHL teams are already allowing fans back at home games. Heading to Miami, Dallas, New York, Boston Philadelphia, Las Vegas...? You can now cheer on your favourite teams right from the stands, beer and snacks in hand!

Your Worries as a Parent

If you are a parent, this can be one of the most nerve-wracking times in your life. You spend your time wondering if they are safe, following their social media tags, and maybe even spying on them (not that any of us would do that). You can’t spend any time looking up statistics because if you did, you would see that the weekly fatality rate in polled Florida counties showed a 9.1% increase (during spring break) over any other time during the year. Among those drivers, there were a higher number of out-of-state drivers involved in fatalities, all of which were ages 25 and younger.

Spring break brings many worries and dangerous situations if your child isn’t prepared for it. This doesn’t mean that all spring break scenarios are dire. Every year people travel and go on spring break road trips without any fears or worries. There are specific scenarios that need to be addressed before your child leaves for spring break. Discussing these things with them may save them from making a mistake or being a victim of someone else’s mistake.

Spring Break Driving: the Risks

Excessive Alcohol Use

Spring Break can be a fun time, with heavy partying and heavy consumption of alcoholic beverages. A recent study that examined the social media posts (800,000) of spring breakers showed that nearly one in ten posts from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, included an alcohol-related caption. Of these posts, 44% were female, and 75% were male students on spring break trips. Alcohol seems to be synonymous with “spring break” in many circumstances.

According to AAA, if you were to drink from 9 pm to 1:30 am at a rate of 2 drinks per hour, you would still have a BAC of 0.08 at 7:30 am, and that number doesn’t go down to zero until 1 pm.

Unfortunately, two drinks per hour is considered embarrassingly tame. A study by the American College of Health reported that the average male consumed 18 drinks per day while the average female consumed up to 10 per day during spring break. Now that’s a lot of drinking in a day.

Drinking and driving are dangerous even outside of spring break, and students should be cautious when travelling.

Unfamiliar Roads

Remember how we said that most spring breakers migrate south? Many of these travellers aren’t familiar with the roadways in the area, making them more susceptible to accidents or other traffic accidents/fatalities due to not knowing the roads. There are also geographical driving patterns (you have seen them in your area, think u-turns and other maneuvers not common) that may throw less experienced drivers off while trying to navigate uncertain areas.

Weather Conditions

Weather is unpredictable, especially in Florida. The target of many hurricanes, travellers should be well versed in checking the weather before planning a spring break adventure here. Even torrential downpours can occur at a moment’s notice. If drivers aren’t prepared or have never driven in them, it can create dangerous situations for the driver and others on the road.

Borrowing a Car

When your kid is driving their car (or borrowing the family car), you know you have auto insurance coverage in case of an accident or collision. But, what if your kid is borrowing a friend’s car or lending your car to his friend(s). Unfortunately, most insurance companies only permit you to load your vehicle to one person at a time. So if your kid borrows your car and then lends it to his buddy without your knowledge, your coverage may become null and void - and it doesn’t even matter if it’s to the corner store or the beaches next state over.

Car Rentals

If you’d prefer not to put more miles on your personal vehicle, or if the kids are flying to their Spring Break destination, renting a car may be the best option. However, do some homework before you leave the lot with a rental car. One important thing to remember is most rental companies have strict policies regarding out-of-state travel, and the consequences for breaking the rules can be costly.

Tips For a Safe Spring Break

If you are looking for a way to help your child stay safe during spring break, here are the things you can do to help them (and encourage them to do):

  • Make travel plans ahead of time
  • Encourage them to avoid drinking alcohol
  • If they do drink, let them know that they can call for a cab or even a rideshare
  • Leave their car once they get to their hotel, go on foot or use cabs that know the area
  • If they are planning on jumping from one location to another, encourage them to stay the night instead of trying to travel constantly

As a parent, you play a crucial role in educating your child, especially on safe travelling. They don’t have a class in school that teaches them what they should and shouldn’t do when on spring break. They look to their parents to teach them the responsible thing to do. Encourage your child by:

  • Staying in touch with you during their trip. Set aside specific times for calling each other to alleviate worry and to know that they are safe.
  • Offering to pay for some or part of their airfare. If you would feel more comfortable with your child flying instead of driving, make taking a flight a possibility.
  • Getting them gift cards for rideshare companies. They can Uber their way around spring break, which is safer than trying to navigate the unknown.

How You Can Install Safety Measures on Your Own

You aren’t always going to be able to talk your child into the above options. You may even feel safer giving them your car to drive because of the risks of using someone else’s car - buddies whom you haven’t even met or worse, a friend of a friend’s friend. At least with your car, you can monitor the situation easily (for yourself and liability purposes) by using one of BlackboxMyCar’s dash cam options.

Spring Clearance Sale on a Great Selection of Dash Cams  

We are clearing out our wareshouse of last year's models, including:

All Spring Clearance items are brand-new units in their original packaging.

Dash cams are a way to make spring break a little safer if your child wants to drive. Insurance companies also love dash cams as they make determining liability in accidents irrefutable. But just because your kid is renting a car this spring break doesn’t mean he can’t bring a dash cam along. The VIOFO A119 V3 and the Thinkware FA200 both come with the option to use the suction cup mount instead of the adhesive mount, allowing for a transient, temporary solution for rental cars.

Let BlackboxMyCar bring you a little peace of mind this spring break season.

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