With the recent cold weather sweeping the country, now is the perfect time to start planning, or at least daydreaming about, your spring or summer vacation. When facing the bleak and cold weather of winter, it is very easy to picture yourself enjoying the sun and the surf in Florida.
If you are planning to drive to Florida for your vacation, it is important that you know a few things about the state before you arrive. Whether you ask an experienced Sacramento cab driver or Katz & Phillips, P.A. based in Tampa, driving in Florida is a little different than anywhere else in the country.
1) Strict DUI Laws Enforced.
Because Florida is a vacation destination, the state understands that a majority of the establishments designed for tourism serve alcohol, and it is necessary to keep Florida roads safe so that people will want to return. As noted by Katz & Phillips, P.A., the state of Florida takes offenses involving alcohol very seriously and the penalties won’t include just a slap on the wrist. The police strictly enforce DUI laws in Florida, and the state does not provide any type of leniency to someone from out-of-state. If you drink in Florida, take advantage of the many public and private transportation companies available in all areas.
2) Roads Are Filled With Tourists.
It is very important that you understand that around the tourist attraction areas a majority of the drivers on the road will be visitors like yourself. This means that they will make frequent stops and make turns from the wrong lane. Stay very aware of the cars around you. Additionally, many drivers are also from another country. Florida has many foreign visitors each year and many find American roads and laws a little confusing.
3) Weather Is Temperamental
During any season, it is not uncommon for Florida to experience heavy, yet brief, thunderstorms in the afternoon. These short downpours can make driving very tricky.
4) Pedestrians Are Abundant.
You must be very careful driving in the beach front areas. These areas have a very high amount of foot traffic. Pedestrians, bicyclists, skateboarders and more will weave in and out of the sidewalk areas. The foot traffic is like this at all times of the day and, depending on which beach you are visiting, all through the night. Speed limits in the beach areas are usually lower than other areas for this specific reason.
5) Beware Of Speed Zones.
Florida has speeding laws that are strictly enforced in school zones and construction zones. All school zones are clearly marked with flashing lights and a specific speed posted that you cannot exceed. Construction zones usually post a lower speed; however, if none is posted and there are workers present, you must not exceed the speed limit by even a mile. Speeding fines are doubled in these areas, and if an accident or injury occurs in these areas due to excessive speed, the fines and penalties are very high.
Now that you are aware of all the things you need to know when maneuvering through Florida’s roadways, you can go back to daydreaming and planning your vacation to the Sunshine State. Just remember, if you are going to drive, make sure that you remember these tips.
Atlanta writer Sarah Gray is an avid researcher and freelance author who enjoys writing about various lifestyle topics hoping to shine a light on information that may be unbeknownst to others.