Navigating Fall and Holiday Roads Safely: DUI and Car Accident Tips from a Palm Beach Gardens Attorney

The beginning of the Fall season means the beginning of the snowbird season here in Florida. Every year, it’s estimated that 1 million people come down for the colder months up North and Florida’s population increases by 5%.

But what does that mean for you? 

While we may not have snow and fall weather, there are still seasonal changes to keep in mind to ensure a safe end of the year. As a top DUI defense and personal injury attorney in Palm Beach Gardens, my firm is well-informed and knows how to help you navigate these busy times safely and legally.

Increased Traffic in Palm Beach Gardens Florida with Snowbirds

Snowbird season is largely considered to be the months of October - April, but is especially prevalent during the holiday season. During this time, Florida’s roadways experience increased traffic as seasonal residents and tourists flock to enjoy the warm weather. This increase in vehicles inevitably leads to a higher risk of automobile accidents, especially among senior citizens. Statistics show a significant increase in accident rates when drivers reach the age of 70, and the highest fatal accident rates are among Florida drivers aged 85 and older. This is due to a number of factors including impaired vision and side effects from medication. Not only that but senior citizens in Florida are more likely to receive fatal injuries due to aging bodies. Be sure to have your insurance up-to-date if you will be driving in Florida as an out-of-state or part-time resident.   Did you know that you can get a DUI even on prescription drugs if it impairs your ability to drive?  Popular medications like Xanax, Ambien, and other safely prescribed drugs are often the cause of DUI arrests.

Laws for Driving in a School Zone Palm Beach Gardens Florida

School is back in session during the Fall as well, and it’s important to know the traffic laws when driving in a school zone in Florida. Speeding in a school zone is dangerous as children may be less aware of incoming traffic, or you may be dealing with new drivers leaving the school parking lot. In Florida, the school zone speed limit may not be less than 15 miles per hour but not be more than 20 miles per hour. These speed limits are enforced 30 minutes before, during, and 30 minutes after school programs begin and end. And if you are caught going over the 20 miles per hour speed limit in school zones, you may be ticketed for a moving violation. For everyone’s safety - including your own - it’s best to slow down and avoid receiving a ticket.

Safe-Driving During Daylight Savings Time in Florida

The Fall season also means that daylight savings time is just around the corner. Even though the clock changes, our schedules do not, and you may have to drive more at night. Ensure that all your vehicle lights are functioning, and be sure that they are turned on when driving at night. Florida law requires all vehicles to have two functioning headlights, and any driver in violation of this may be pulled over and issued a ticket. 

Additionally, it is your responsibility as a driver to keep your vehicle in good driving condition. That means checking your tire pressure, windshield wipers, motor oil, and other important fluids to avoid causing an accident. If you fail to maintain a safe motor vehicle, you can be held responsible for any accident caused by your vehicle’s breakdown. 

Holiday Season DUI Arrests in Florida

While there’s plenty to celebrate during the holiday season, it’s important to do so carefully. It’s estimated that DUIs increase by 20% during the holiday season in Florida. Be sure to opt for a designated driver or use a ride-sharing service such as Uber or Lyft to avoid getting a DUI. It’s also important to note that if you are on any medication, even if it is prescribed or available over the counter, you can get a DUI. Some forms of cold and flu medication such as NyQuil contain alcohol and can put you over the legal limit if you are not careful. Be sure to know your limits and when in doubt, an Uber is always a safe and cheaper option compared to getting a DUI. 

Call the Law Offices of Matthew Konecky in Palm Beach Gardens Florida for a Free DUI or Personal Injury Case Evaluation

Keeping these tips in mind, you can help contribute to a safe fall and holiday season for everyone. However, if you do encounter legal trouble, a knowledgeable DUI Defense and Personal Injury lawyer in Palm Beach Gardens is paramount in getting a favorable outcome for your case. If you have any questions, you can reach our office 24/7 or check out any of the other useful guides we have on our website. 

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