Tourism is a big contributor to Florida’s overall economy, but it has its downsides. Popular restaurants and beaches quickly become crowded with tourists with little regard for the daily lives of locals. Tourists also bring with them crime and the increased risk of car crashes.
Although anyone can potentially cause the crash, tourists from out of state or another country have higher risk than local drivers for certain contributing factors to a crash. There are at least three ways in which tourists have higher risk than other drivers.
Tourists may not know their route or the roads
Although the days of navigating with a physical map are long since passed, GPS systems aren’t miracle workers. People still find themselves confused and turned around when trying to navigate through unfamiliar communities.
They may drive past a turn and then maneuver frantically trying to get back to where they need to go. They might spend so much time looking for street signs and other landmarks that they don’t properly monitor traffic. Lack of familiarity with roads can contribute to someone’s risk of causing a crash.
Tourists may not yet be comfortable with their rental car
Driving a new vehicle often requires an adjustment period. Everything from the brakes to the steering handles slightly differently from vehicle to vehicle. Even if a tourist rents the exact model that they drive at home, there will likely be discrepancies between the performances of the two vehicles.
A tourist unfamiliar with how their rental car will handle wet roads or sudden braking might not maneuver properly in an emergency.
Tourists may get distracted by the sights or their family
If it’s someone’s first time visiting a new location, they may want to take photos, capture videos or even post to social media about their experiences. Some people will make the mistake of doing all three of these while driving a vehicle.
Others may not have their phones in hand, but they may get into an argument with their spouse while driving from the airport to the hotel or become frustrated with their kids asking how much longer the drive will take. Distraction is dangerous in any situation, but while on unfamiliar roads and in an unfamiliar vehicle, distraction could easily lead to a crash.
Drivers in Florida who get hurt in collisions caused by tourists can potentially take legal action or file an insurance claim, depending on the circumstances. Even if the drivers are from another state, the victims of the crash still have rights.