If being cooped up during the COVID-19 pandemic has you in touch with your inner wanderlust, perhaps southeast Florida is your destination of choice. Summer 2020, however, is far different from any other vacation season.
It’s a popular destination, with good reason. World-class beaches, national parks, golf courses, hotels, resorts and theme parks lure a growing number of vacationers to the region, mostly by car. Since airlines have yet to fully ramp up to their pre-COVID-19 passenger counts, the number of people driving to Florida on vacation is expected to increase. This could place a strain on already crowded streets and highways, adding to the frustration of motorists like you.
Vacation is traditionally a time to kick back. But if you find yourself involved in an unanticipated accident with serious injuries due to someone else’s negligence, time is of the essence. Fortunately, in Southeast Florida, you have options.
Rosen & Ohr, P.A. is a law firm with the skill, experience and compassion to make things right. Ronald Rosen and Jerrad Ohr are the locals’ choice, with a proven track record that’s the envy of their rivals. Contact us now for a free claim review.
Safety Tips During Summer Vacation in Hollywood, FL
If you’re planning a trip to the Sunshine State this summer, preparation is key. USA Today offers the following travel advisory:
- Expect the heat index to crest well above 100 degrees. Avoid venturing out in the middle of the day.
- Drink plenty of water or other clear fluids, particularly if you are outside.
- Apply sunscreen whenever you are outdoors, even on cloudy days.
- Wear UV-blocking sunglasses and a hat.
- Go inside a building and seek help if you feel faint, nauseated, develop a throbbing headache or stop sweating despite the heat. These are signs of heat stroke, a dangerous condition.
- Beware of violent thunderstorms, tornadoes and hurricanes.
- Use caution when driving, as roadways can flood unexpectedly.
- Be aware of the dangers of driving in Florida
- Watch for rip currents and jellyfish.
- Do not drive, swim or operate a boat when under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Getting Through the Coronavirus Crisis in South Florida
According to Afar, the most significant change caused by COVID-19 is that anyone traveling to Florida from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut or Louisiana is currently required to self-quarantine for 14 days, or for the duration of their stay in the state, whichever is shorter.
Military, emergency, health care and infrastructure response workers, those involved in commercial activity, and individuals who live in Georgia and commute to work in Florida are exempted. The quarantine orders have no set expiration date. They apply whether you’re arriving by car or by air.
Anyone who is required to quarantine is responsible for all their own costs associated with their self-isolation, including transportation, lodging, food, medical care and any other expenses.
Violation of the quarantine order is considered a misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 60 days in prison and/or a fine of up to $500.
Be aware that requirements vary by county and may change as circumstances do. State government provides a frequently updated website including a Florida travel guide to help you stay up-to-date: floridahealthcovid19.gov. In addition, bookmark the federal Centers for Disease Control’s website: cdc.gov/coronavirus.
Save yourself some anguish by considering these coronavirus-minded travel safety tips from Forbes:
- Assemble a ‘Corona Road Kit.’ Some of the obvious basics include disposable rubber gloves, disinfecting wipes, multiple face masks or face coverings, hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol, bleach and a chemically resistant spray bottle. Add another layer of hygiene by bringing your own vacuum cleaner and air purifier (both with HEPA filters) as well as your own anti-microbial laundry detergent, dish soap, hand soap and trash bags.
- Disinfect Your Car Frequently. Door handles, seatbelts, gear shift, emergency brake, steering wheel, turn signal switch, phone chargers, seat adjusters and every other knob and buttons are potential sources to transmit coronavirus. Every time you get back into your car from a grocery store, restaurant or gas station you could be bringing the virus into your car with you.
- Stock Up on Essentials. One of the simplest ways to avoid the risk of contracting coronavirus while traveling is to avoid doing the same thing more than once, like trips to grocery and liquor stores, fueling up and hitting the local Target or Walmart. Plan and pack what you’ll need in advance, especially essentials like medications, extra food and, of course, toilet paper.
- Stay in Places Where Social Distancing Comes Naturally. Book properties in less urban, lower-density locations. Low-rise, 2-3 story resort properties offer more room and less density. As a plus, you avoid crowded elevators.
- Understand Your Health Insurance and Have a Plan. If you get sick on the road, understand exactly where and how to get treated immediately. Put a plan in place in advance. Know if you have a PPO or an HMO and what that means. Locate the nearest hospital and determine if they have the capabilities and supplies to treat you. If you’re staying at a resort, ask if they have an attending nurse or doctor on staff, and what protocols they have in place should someone become infected.
Things to Do in Hollywood, FL During Summer
Not to be missed is the Hollywood Broadwalk, aptly named for its 30-foot-wide boardwalk promenade along the Atlantic Ocean, stretching for two and a half miles. It boasts more than 50 restaurants, 30 boutiques, hotels and an oceanfront park. A dedicated bike path attracts rollerbladers, skateboarders and cyclists along the beach.
The Anne Kolb Nature Center is a 1,500-acre coastal mangrove wetland. It’s home to a wide variety of plants and animals, including some threatened and endangered species.
For the Parrot-heads, there’s Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Resort and Hotel. It’s a little taste of Key West and points farther south in the Caribbean.
Potential Types of Accidents and Injuries on a Florida Vacation
In spite of the carefree nature of Hollywood and the surrounding areas, accidents happen and they sometimes result in serious injuries. Knowing some of the most common ones can help keep you and your family safe during your getaway:
- Auto Accidents – Florida has the third highest motor vehicle fatalities in the country, according to data gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. There were 3,116 vehicle crash fatalities in Florida in a single recent year. Many involved alcohol and/or distracted driving.
- Pedestrian Accidents – The risk of accidents while walking in Florida is higher than in any other state, according to a report from Smart Growth America and National Complete Streets Coalition. Over a 10-year span, Florida had an annual average of 2.73 pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people, compared to the national average of 1.55 per 100,000 people.
- Transit Accidents – If you’re not driving yourself, you may be using buses, trains, ferries and other modes of public transportation. If an accident occurs while you’re on vacation, be aware that the owner of the vehicles or the operator may be liable for the accident, especially if the driver was negligent or the vehicle was not properly maintained.
- E-scooters, E-bikes, Bicycles, and Golf Carts – Part of the joy of exploring a new city is trying out new modes of travel. In an accident, victims often suffer head injuries, internal injuries and fractured bones.
- Slip and Fall – These can occur at poorly maintained businesses or recreational areas, such as restaurants, hotels and beaches. Wet floors, unmarked steps, curling carpets, or uneven surfaces can pose a hazard to anyone, especially tourists unfamiliar with the premises.
- Recreational Sports and Parks – Recreation-related injuries can unfortunately be all too common on vacations. Whether you’re paragliding, boating, water skiing or visiting an amusement park, rent from a reputable organization.
- Insufficient Security – If you’re hurt in an assault or another security-related incident, property owners, such as those of restaurants and hotels, may be liable if they knew about the security risk in advance, or if they failed to provide a reasonably safe environment.
Our Lawyers Are Ready to Help Vacationers Hurt Due to the Carelessness of Others
Accidents can ruin even the most well-planned vacation and cause serious injuries to unwitting travelers. They’re often due to the negligence of others. At Rosen & Ohr, you’ll find us to be strong advocates ready to work tirelessly in your best interest. If you have been injured on vacation in Florida, and you believe someone else was at fault, contact the personal injury attorneys at Rosen & Ohr, P.A. for help. We don’t let up until justice is served. Contact us now for a free consultation with no obligation.
If you’re concerned about COVID-19, rest assured we take this pandemic seriously. We are happy to discuss your case by phone, video conference or one-on-one in your home and at your convenience. We follow the CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.