Spring Training Brings Baseball, Traffic Accidents to Arizona

IMG_5987-300x169Every February the state of Arizona receives an influx of athletic talent. Fifteen major league baseball teams, which form the Cactus League, call Arizona home during the late winter months for spring training. The teams are based all around the state including Scottsdale, Phoenix, Mesa, Surprise, and Glendale. While spring training may appear to most to be a simple practice exercise, it is very big deal for baseball fans.

Throughout February and March fans can attend spring training games and observe practices. This gives fans an opportunity to get up close and personal with their favorite players, sneak a peek at what the new season holds, and escape the winter weather that plagues most of the country.

In 2016, the Cactus League teams sold 1.8 million tickets. The fact that the 2016 World Series Champions, the Chicago Cubs, hold their spring training in Arizona will likely increase these numbers for 2017. While this flood of tourism is very exciting for the state, increasing revenue and helping the economy, it can also contribute to an higher rate of motor vehicle accidents.

Spring training should be an exciting and fun time for baseball fans who reside in Arizona and for those who make the pilgrimage. However, it is important for drivers to remain cautious and be aware of potential dangers on the road.

The majority of those who visit Arizona for spring training are quite unfamiliar with the area. This unfamiliarity can easily become a contributing factor in collisions. Tourists are often not acquainted with the layout of the area, road operations, or speed limits. There is also the possibility that the traffic laws at home are different than Arizona laws. Visiting drivers can become easily distracted due to navigation issues which can lead to accidents. We have all experienced the frustration of being cut off by another driver that missed their exit, or watched a driver accidentally turn the wrong way down a one-way street. These negligent acts are often in part due to unfamiliarity with the area or distracted driving.

This unfamiliarity may also create hazardous situations for pedestrians. Visiting fans walking around the area may place themselves in danger by failing to observe their surroundings. For example, tourists may try to walk along roads that do not have sidewalks or attempt to cross busy intersections against a traffic light if they become lost. This danger can be maximized by the alcohol consumption that is often prevalent at American sporting events.

Arizona bicyclists may also be at risk. As many of the Cactus League Teams hail from colder areas, it is likely tourists are not accustomed to sharing the road with bicyclists year round. Drivers who are not expecting to see bicycles on the road in February and March may fail to use the caution necessary for sharing the road safely.

The flood of tourists also ensures higher than normal traffic levels. Game attendance at some stadiums may exceed 15,000 – with fifteen separate stadiums it easy to imagine the chaos that ensues. Roadway congestion is a common factor in collisions with stop-and-go traffic being a main contributor to fender benders.

At Ables & Annes, we hope you and your loved ones have an accident-free spring training season, but if you do find become injured in a collision know our experienced personal injury attorneys are standing by to help you understand your options.

Resources:

Sun, scenery, history mark Spring Training baseball In Arizona, Florida, MLB.com/springtraining.

2016 Spring Training Attendance, BaseballPilgramages.com.