It’s February, and that means that tourist season is in full swing in the Sunshine State. People from all over come to enjoy our comfortably warm weather, gorgeous beaches, relaxed atmosphere, innumerable theme parks, and other exciting destinations. Most of them are quite good at preparing for their trip (bathing suits, sunscreen, itineraries and the like), but there is one thing that most tourists forget about when getting ready for their vacation – accidents and injuries can happen anywhere.
Okay, you’re saying, but on vacation – really? Actually, yes. Surveys show that a surprisingly high number of people either get sick or injured while on a trip – 20 percent, to be exact. You probably don’t want to think about the possibility of getting hurt when you’re trying to kick back and have fun, but if you really want to stay safe, it’s important that you do so.
How can you avoid ruining your vacation with an illness or accident? First you have to know the most common issues that people face.
Typical Vacation Illnesses and Injuries
Florida is home to lots of beautiful and exotic flora and fauna. Nice to look at, but agonizing if you end up discovering that you’re allergic to it and neglected to bring antihistamines or your allergy medicine. Do yourself a favor and research common local allergens before getting on a plane.
Car and bike crashes. Driving or riding around an unfamiliar area can put you in a lot of danger if you make even a simple mistake while you’re out on the road. And it doesn’t even have to be your fault. Locals tend to expect traffic to behave in a particular way, and if you deviate from those expectations, a collision can result. Things aren’t necessarily better for vacationing pedestrians, either. Sure, you don’t have to worry about breaking any driving laws, but you’re far more vulnerable to serious injury if you get hit by a car.
This one is especially important for people coming to Florida to enjoy the warm waters of the Atlantic. If you’re not accustomed to swimming in the ocean, this can lead to all kinds of problems, including getting caught in the undertow or being stung by jellyfish. Make sure you learn as much as you can about the area you want to swim so that you know what kinds of potential hazards there are and how to stay safe.
Not surprisingly, this is the number one cause of injury or illness to vacationers. It makes sense. When you’re visiting a new area, you not only want to try all kinds of new foods, but also get a taste of the local flavor – sometimes in places that might not be completely safe. Beyond this, our bodies can react negatively simply because they aren’t used to a particular kind of diet. The best way to avoid problems is to pace yourself and research to see if there are specific foods or places people recommend avoiding.
If you or someone you’re traveling with does get sick or hurt, it’s important to remember to remain calm. When the problem is minor, you can probably still find lots of fun things to do as long as you remain flexible and positive. And if something serious happens due to someone else’s negligence, make sure you document everything that you can and get in touch with an experienced injury law firm. Ruining your vacation is bad enough – you shouldn’t have to pay for another person’s mistake, too.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Lawlor Winston White & Murphy. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, and was recently voted by his peers as a Florida “SuperLawyer”—an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state—and to Florida Trend’s “Legal Elite.”