Mother pulls young child in kayak during summer excursion.

We all love summer. School is out, days are longer, and Central Florida and the Tampa Bay area is booming with tourists and locals alike enjoying our beaches, lakes, theme parks, and sunshine. Summer doesn’t come without risks though, and as lawyers, we notice trends in accidents and injuries. Many of them could be prevented, and we’re committed to sharing what we know in hopes that it protects families and saves lives this summer. We also want to encourage you to share this with your family and friends as well.

Is Summer the most dangerous season in Florida?

We can’t say definitively that summer is the most dangerous season, but we can give you insight into the many dangers of summer in Tampa Bay. Most notably, we see injuries and fatalities related to:

  • boating accidents
  • alcohol
  • motorcycle collisions

These should come as no surprise as these are things commonly enjoyed during the summer. What is surprising is how often the injuries and fatalities happen because of reckless or negligent decisions on part of the participants. Below, we’re breaking down the types of accidents we see most frequently.

Boating Accidents

Florida has over 1-million registered boats! Pictured is a full marina near the Bay.

Florida now has over 1 million boats registered in the state, with more coming in every day. Our local marinas are full, and private docks are as common as driveways in the Tampa Bay region. In addition to cruising on the water, boating is tied to many other water activities and sports including water skiing, wakeboarding, swimming, jet skiing, and paddle boarding. Spending weekends on the water is a ton of fun, but if not done safely, it can have deadly consequences. If you’ll be spending time on a boat this summer, whether your own or someone else’s, remember,

  • everyone should be wearing a life jacket at all times
  • never consume alcohol if you are operating the boat or any other watercraft (including jet skis)
  • follow posted speed limits and rules on the water
  • check the weather beforehand
  • follow proper anchoring procedures

Alcohol Use

We get it: a cold drink on a hot day is delightful. However, too much alcohol leads to poor judgment, lack of focus, longer response times, and ultimately, a state of mind that can easily result in injury or death. Did you know that alcohol is one of the top factors in boating fatalities or accidents? According to the U.S. Coastguard, drinking while boating accounts for 23% of all fatalities. If you’ll be driving in any capacity (car, watercraft, or motorcycle), avoid alcohol entirely to best protect yourself and others. Even if you’re just lounging by the pool or hanging out around the grill, limit drinks and make responsible decisions. A “buzz” is never worth your life or the life of someone else.

Motorcycle Accidents

Florida LOVES bikers, and they love our beautiful state! Long, open roads and plenty of sunshine are the perfect combination for traveling on two wheels in the fresh air. Unfortunately, Florida’s roads are also some of the most dangerous for motorcyclists, especially during the summer months. Drive with caution, as our highways and local roads are full of tourists and commuter traffic each day. As mentioned above, never consume alcohol when you’ll be climbing on your bike, and ALWAYS wear an approved helmet. If you’re a driver and have no interest in owning or riding a motorcycle, this post still applies to you. The best way to prevent an accident? Slow down! Driving too fast always increases the risk of a collision. You are responsible for driving with caution and watching the road for bikers before you pull out into traffic, change lanes, or stop suddenly.

There are ways to prevent accidents and protect yourself and your family this summer, and the above tips are a great place to start. The team at Brooks Law Group wants to see a summer full of fun memories, and fewer accidents. Keep this information in mind as you make your plans in the weeks ahead. July 4th is just around the corner, and often results in accidents as people head out on the water or on their bikes to enjoy the fireworks throughout Tampa and Polk County. If you or someone you love are injured in an accident this summer, the team at Brooks Law Group is in your corner. We fight for the compensation and justice you deserve, supporting you in your journey to heal and move forward. We offer free consultations for all clients. Here’s to a fun (and safe) summer for everyone!

Steve was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. As was the practice for new doctors his father worked day and night during his medical residency at Charity Hospital there. Steve comes from a long line of doctors. His father, his grandfather, his great grandfather, even two uncles were all specialists and/or surgeons in their chosen medical specialties, including internal medicine specialist, obstetrics / gynecology, neurosurgery and general practice / surgery. His great-great grandfather was the Surgeon General of Ohio during the Civil War.