With momentum and excitement building for the return of a live and in-person South By Southwest, or SXSW, to Austin for the first time in three years, Austin will be brimming with locals and visitors alike.
SXSW returns from March 11 – 20, 2022, and is expected to welcome over 400,000 people to Austin for music, comedy, exhibits, conferences, and entertainment.
The Glen Larson Law Injury Attorneys personal injury attorneys in Austin know that while the city is prepared to welcome our fellow Texans and guests from around the country, safety is paramount to the festival’s success.
Here are some tips for remaining safe with rideshares and walking around the city during this exciting time.
Major Risk Factors Associated with Traffic Accidents & Ridesharing During SXSW
With a three-year hiatus between live SXSW festivals in Austin, some drivers may forget just how crowded Austin streets become during the March celebration.
With countless rideshare drivers convening in Austin to absorb their portion of a mass market that needs their services, there are major risk factors to be aware of with ridesharing that contribute to auto accidents.
Rideshare drivers know the more rides they complete, the more money they can make, which can lead to speeding and other forms of unsafe driving.
During SXSW, multiple distractions can lead to serious accidents, including rowdy passengers, droves of pedestrians pouring into the streets, and the rideshare driver’s chiming phone, alerting him or her to the next pick-up need.
- Impaired Driving
Whether it is a drowsy rideshare driver who is trying to fit in just one more trip, or another who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, impaired driving can lead to catastrophic accidents that injure their occupants, other drivers and their passengers, and pedestrians.
Major Risk Factors Associated with Being a Pedestrian During SXSW
With an additional half a million people converging in Austin for ten days, pedestrian accidents become a significant safety issue during SXSW.
Impatient, impaired, or speeding drivers can cause catastrophic pedestrian accidents, injuries, and fatalities when they do not yield the right of way or use roads that are blocked for pedestrian use only.
Unfortunately, not all pedestrian injuries or fatalities are accidents.
In 2014, a drunk driver tore through the crowd at SXSW, running over people and hitting other cars. Four people were killed, and more than 20 others were injured.
The driver was found guilty of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Public Safety Tips for Ridesharing Passengers During SXSW
Hundreds of thousands of people will need ridesharing services during SXSW. Whether they are getting to and from the airport, from the festival to their hotels, or to grab a meal during their stay, rider safety is paramount during such a busy time in Austin.
Here are a few tips to help keep you safe while ridesharing in Austin:
- Confirm Your Driver and Car Before Getting In
Austin offers multiple ridesharing options, including:
No matter which rideshare service you use, always confirm the vehicle, license plate, and name of your driver before entering the vehicle.
Always ask a driver to tell say your name, or the name of the passenger who booked the trip, before getting in. This way, you can be absolutely certain that person is your driver.
- Share Your Trip
Most rideshare apps provide the opportunity to share your ride details or trip status with a friend or family member, so they know your route and when you have arrived safely. Use it. It is the easiest and quickest way to let someone track your whereabouts in case something happens during your ride.
- Keep Your Personal Information Confidential
Ridesharing is commonplace in most cities and often leads to a conversation with the driver. While typically harmless, it is important to keep it that way. Do not share any of your personal details with the driver, including where you live, your phone number, or that you are staying alone during your trip.
- Know Your Surroundings
This is important, especially for those who are visiting SXSW but live outside of Austin. When rideshare passengers are in an unfamiliar city or area, they should track their route on a map app on their own phone, so they know the driver is not heading off course.
Look for businesses and landmarks near where you are staying, and those between your hotel, VRBO, or Airbnb and the festival, so you are aware of your surroundings and can alert someone if you are in trouble.
- Sit in the Backseat & Wear Your Seatbelt
Once you are a rideshare passenger, you have no control over the driver — or other drivers — and how they navigate traffic. Wear your seatbelt to help minimize injuries if a collision occurs.
Contact Our Skilled Personal Injury Attorneys in Austin at Glen Larson Law Injury Attorneys Today
If you have been hurt in an accident of any type during SXSW that was caused by negligence, call our skilled Austin personal injury attorneys at Glen Larson Law Injury Attorneys at (512) 883-0277 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation.
We pursue dedicated, driven results for our clients, and there is never a charge to talk to an lawyer. We stand ready to help you. Call (512) 883-0277 today.