The Daytona 500 is one of the most popular and well-attended events in the world of motorsports. Every year, people from all over the country and the world flock to Daytona Beach, Florida to watch the race and take part in the festivities. According to Sports Business Journal, some 150,000 people attend the NASCAR event and thousands more attend accompanying events. While the Daytona 500 is a thrilling and exciting event, it also poses a number of dangers, particularly when it comes to motor vehicle accidents. For residents of Daytona just trying to live their lives, an influx of people, drunk drivers, and road congestion can lead to more than just a serious headache.
Daytona Raceweek Brings Elevated Amount of DUI
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 33,654 fatal motor vehicle crashes in the United States in 2018. Of those, 10,511 involved alcohol-impaired drivers. These statistics are particularly relevant during the Daytona 500, as many people who attend the event also take part in heavy drinking and partying.
Because of this, Daytona makes the top 10 most dangerous cities in Florida for a DUI death with 2.73 DUI-related deaths per 100,000 residents.
Drinking and driving is a serious problem during the Daytona 500. People come to town to have a good time and watch the race, but they often make the mistake of getting behind the wheel after a day full of drinking in the hot sun. This puts not only the drunk driver in danger but also other drivers and pedestrians on the road.
The influx of Out-of-Towners Poses Dangerous to Locals
In addition to drinking and driving, out-of-towners can also pose a danger to local citizens. With so many people coming into town for the Daytona 500, the roads become more crowded and congested. This can lead to an increase in car accidents and other motor vehicle accidents, including pedestrians and cyclists who may be sharing the roads with the influx of visitors.
The influx of people can also lead to other dangerous behaviors, such as speeding, distracted driving, and aggressive driving. Visitors may be unfamiliar with the roads and traffic patterns in the area, leading them to make dangerous decisions behind the wheel.
According to a study conducted by the University of South Florida, there were 425 traffic accidents during the 2016 Daytona 500 weekend. Of those, 141 were deemed “preventable” and involved driver errors, such as speeding, running a red light, or following too closely.
The study also found that out-of-town visitors were more likely to be involved in car accidents than local residents. This is likely due to a lack of familiarity with the area and the roads, as well as an increase in alcohol consumption and other risky behaviors.
The dangers for pedestrians and motorcyclists in Daytona also go up just as much as you might think.
What Can Be Done to Reduce Daytona 500 Accidents and Injuries
It’s important for individuals to make responsible decisions and take steps to ensure their own safety and the safety of others on the road.
This includes avoiding drinking and driving, familiarizing yourself with the roads and traffic patterns in the area, and being aware of your surroundings at all times.
Local law enforcement agencies can also play a key role in reducing the risks associated with car and other motor vehicle accidents during the Daytona 500 by increasing patrols and cracking down on dangerous behaviors. Just like Bike Week 2023, this weekend is a time that we all need to be on alert and more careful about our surroundings.
Injured in Daytona and Need a Local Lawyer?
If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident during the Daytona 500, it’s important to seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney. At The Eberst Law firm, we specialize in defending the victims of car accidents so that they do not have to suffer the consequences of someone else’s poor decisions.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your legal rights and options.