Ron Courson, Director of Sports Medicine for UGA Athletic Association, reminds college students about the risks of spring break. UGA and the UGA Athletic Associations wants to encourage all students to be safe during spring break.
Spring break for UGA is the week of March 12th – 16th. As you know, spring break is a high risk time for student-athletes as well as college students in general. Spring break cities draw huge number of college students bent on a week of sun, fun and, unfortunately, drinking. Keep in mind statistics that show an increased risk of injury.
Areas popular among spring break participants all report a spike in the number of DUIs and DUI-related car crashes during the season, which typically spans from early March to mid or late April. In fact, for many college and beach towns, spring break and the weekends before and after represent the most dangerous nine days of the year on the road. During this time, the demographics of car crashes shift as well, more people in their late teens and early twenties involved or affected.
Inebriated individuals also can be prone to physical violence. Bars and night clubs in particular see an increase in violence during the spring break season. Student should choose night spots wisely. Look for nightlife establishments that have cover charges, dress codes, well-lit parking lots and security cameras. Many nightclubs and bars are starting to wand down customers and even check purses that security personnel feel may hold a weapon. All night spots in spring break destination areas have making money on the mind, but the better, safer and ultimately more fun establishments are mindful of safety as well.
Spring break also can be marred by diving and drowning incidents. Overcrowding of pools and beaches can lead to accidents or even intentional harm. A scan of past media coverage includes multiple stories of spring breakers injured from falling or being pushed into pools or off balconies, or from diving into unmarked shallow areas.
Drunk drivers, violent individuals and hotels, bars, nightclubs and other establishments with unsafe conditions can cause irreparable harm or even death to spring break participants and those around them.
To keep safe, follow these best practices:
- Be safe traveling: Wear seat belts; don’t text while driving; many accidents happen at early hours of morning when driver falls asleep (i.e. driving all night to arrive at destination).
- Don’t drink and drive! Call an Uber, Lyft, or a friend.
- Make the right decisions: Every decision has consequences; don’t do anything that would embarrass you, your family, your team or the University of Georgia.
- Use social media responsibly: Do not sent out photos or videos that may place you or others in embarrassing situations; also remember that others have cell phones: someone is always watching what you do or say!
- Be careful who you associate with (i.e. don’t get into a car with someone you don’t know: an open container of alcohol or bag of marijuana in vehicle results in an arrest for everyone in the vehicle, whether involved or not).
- Be aware of your surroundings: Avoid high risk areas, travel with a group if possible.
- Be aware of high risk/dangerous settings: Unfortunately, deaths during spring break occur every year from alcohol intoxication, drug overdoses, balcony falls, moped accidents, diving accidents, drownings: many of these occur when alcohol is involved and decision making is impaired.