Here in the state of Florida, we tend to blame Northerners for the vast majority of automobile accidents that occur. Those Northerners we like to affectionately call ‘snowbirds.’ While out of towners can be blamed for some accidents, it’s unjust to assume that all accidents are the fault of our Northern friends - yes, friends.
Let’s keep in mind two important things:
- The people that keep our economy going are those that flock to our sunny weather yearly - in addition to tourists that come to enjoy many things some of us might take for granted. So, we must accept the bad with the good.
- Many accidents in Florida are caused by Florida residents. People just like you and me. People that live here. People, like us, that make mistakes. Sometimes we have to zip our lips about the snowbirds.
A Recent Unfortunate Event
Just the other day, a twenty-year-old was driving his Jeep down U.S 41 when a Lely High school bus veered into his lane. He was flown to the nearest hospital with serious injuries. You can read about this story in detail here.
The exact cause of the accident is still unfolding, but according to the initial investigation, the driver of the school bus appears to be at-fault - and guess what? The driver of the school bus is a resident of our state. She was not a snowbird, and she drives that route all the time. She might have been distracted or tired or anything else, but she was not from out of town.
If you follow my personal Facebook account, you might have seen a recent ‘rant’ that I posted. This rant was written after a client I was talking to was rear-ended (immediately before I called him!) by another Florida resident. This time, everyone was okay, but my point is still that they were both residents of our state.
Four More Crashes
The following unfortunate events are further proof that car accidents in Florida are not solely the responsibility of snowbirds:
- On Saturday morning, an Estero man, 24, died after being struck by a motor vehicle at 1:17 am while he was trying to cross U.S. 41.
- There was another crash on I-75 this weekend between two southwest Florida residents, an 18-year-old man, and a 34-year-old woman.
- Just yesterday morning a Naples woman died in a two-vehicle crash on Marco Island.
- And yet again, there was another fatal crash this week between a vehicle and a pedestrian in East Naples.
To be fair, though, we aren’t the only people in the U.S. that blame tourists for accidents, as it happens everywhere. Florida does receive its fair share of snowbirds and tourists, and yes, maybe they need to be a bit more cautious on our roads. But in all fairness, so do we.
Everyone needs to slow down during the tourist season and give everyone the benefit of the doubt when we are behind the wheel. Whether it’s a snowbird who is driving on U.S. 41 with their left blinker on and decides to make a right turn into a Publix, or the Floridian who gets a bit of road rage from all of the traffic, anyone can cause an accident.
It takes only a moment for something to go wrong. Your chances go up dramatically when a driver is either intoxicated or has a cell phone in their hands. Anyone can slip up. Hopefully, you are all paying attention while driving, but if you do get into an accident you should know that you are only human - whether or not you are from out of town.
We help people injured in automobile accidents all day long, and I have to admit that we see our fair share of snowbird cases (I put them in blue folders just to see how many there are), but we also see our fair share of pure Floridian negligence.
Our prayers go out to all of the families who either lost a loved one or must help an injured party financially or otherwise. There were way too many deaths in the past few days. I just wanted to set the record straight.