Great live music blasting from every bar, food trucks lined on every corner,
and awesome promotions being offered. What is there not to love about
South by South West? As the buzz surrounding the music festival increases
every year the levels of danger also rise.
Last year during the SXSW festival a car accident involving a drunk driver
claimed the lives of four pedestrians. This tragedy is a clear illustration
of the dangers that one can face during the SXSW music festival. Alcohol
in combination with large groups of people congregated on busy streets
and tourists unfamiliar with the Austin area can be a recipe for dangerous
accidents. If you find yourself planted in the center of craziness that
occurs during SXSW following these following tips can reduce the chances
of any unfortunate accidents occurring.
1. Utilize side streets
Austin traffic is already unbearable from the hours of 4-6, during SXSW
the traffic horrors are magnified times ten. Distracted and impatient
drivers unfamiliar with the area can cause many accidents on the road,
however adopting the use of side streets to reach your destination may
save you from gridlock traffic. Driving through neighborhood streets may
also shave some time off of your estimated arrival time and prevent you
from developing an extreme case of road rage.
2. Beware of Parking Violations
During SXSW not only is traffic horrendous, but parking can also become
quite frustrating. Usual parking spots that you may be able to snag during
the year may become unavailable or closed off during SXSW. In order to
avoid a parking ticket or a boot on your car, be hyper aware of any signage
that prohibits parking or limits parking to certain hours of the day.
3. Avoid Jaywalking Completely
Jaywalking is a crime punishable by law, however in Austin there are some
areas where reckless pedestrian behavior is routinely overlooked. During
SXSW jaywalking becomes extremely dangerous. The heavy traffic on the
road mingled with vehicles driven by tourists unfamiliar with road can
spell out disaster for any reckless pedestrians. Proceed with caution
when crossing the roads even if you have the right of way. Take it back
you when you were a child and always looked both ways before crossing
street. If you think a vehicle is giving you an opportunity to cross the
street make eye contact with the driver before you proceed. Taking these
extra precautionary steps can mean the difference between a night out,
listening to live music at Stubbs, or a night recovering in the ICU.
4. Manage your trips on the road
Although it is almost impossible to avoid the chaos on the road during
SXSW, there are ways to manage the insanity brought on by the musical
festival. Limiting your errands to the early morning or to midday can
save you from a lot of headache and irritation. If you need to run to
your local Walgreens to pick up a prescription, plan to travel during
times that fewer people will be on the road. Most of the events that generate
the larger crowds occur in the afternoon or evening so driving during
earlier times may save you from potential accidents or mishaps.
It can be difficult to manage the road during SXSW, but following these
simple tips can make things easier.