The birds are singing, the flowers are blooming and thousands of college students are

Spring is in the air: The birds are singing, the flowers are blooming and thousands of college students are participating in the annual rite of spring break, the often-hedonistic bacchanal that draws hordes of 20-somethings to Florida and other beachside locales for fun, sun and, sometimes, poor judgment.

Florida has been hosting throngs of college students since the 1930s, when a Colgate University coach brought his team south to what was then the only Olympic-size pool in the state. Enterprising businesses took note of the event and saw it for the revenue-generating powerhouse it could become, encouraging more and more college students to make the annual trek to the Sunshine State.

Some three-quarters of a century later, Florida’s sandy white beaches and warm environs still rank among the most popular spring break destinations. All that fun and frolic does not come without at least some risk, and students who make the pilgrimage would be wise to take heed of a few safety pointers to ensure their break remains a safe one:

· On the road, be sure to use seatbelts and take turns driving. Make sure the vehicle is insured and make sure all drivers are well-rested and sober. Don’t forget the registration and insurance cards before hitting the road.
· When making hotel reservations, avoid the first floor, if possible, as most burglaries occur in first-floor rooms. Also avoid rooms above the sixth floor which are generally not accessible by fire ladders.
· Avoid using ATMs after dark and try to use the machines only when in the company of your friends. Check out the area around the ATM to be sure it is safe.
· Drink responsibly. You’ve heard it over and over again, but it bears repeating: pace alcohol consumption and avoid hard alcohol. While on the beach, use lots of sunscreen and drink plenty of water, especially if you’ve been drinking. Alcohol can increase your risk of heat stroke.

Just a small amount of common sense can go a long way toward making spring break a time of happy memories. If you do become injured, the best course of action is to hire a personal injury attorney to represent your case and ensure your rights are protected.

Baird Law Group has a long and successful history practicing in and around the Tampa area. Their skilled and experienced attorneys are ready and able to provide you with the representation you need if your spring break ends up a little more wild than you had planned. To learn more, visit their website at www.bairdlawgroup.com or call them at 813-849-2679.