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Common Tourist Injuries to Watch Out for in Texas

Common Tourist Injuries to Watch Out for in Texas
Photo: Pixabay.com


Texas is a huge state with diverse landscapes and many popular tourist destinations. From the beaches of South Padre Island to the hiking trails of Big Bend National Park, there are plenty of exciting activities for visitors, which is why 34.8 million people visited the Lone Star state in 2022. However, with adventure often comes the risk of injury. Here are several common injuries tourists should be cautious of when traveling in Texas.

Car Accidents

With wide open roads and long distances between destinations, driving is a major method of transportation for Texas tourists. However, accidents can and do occur. There were 3,367 fatal crashes in 2023. Contributing factors include distracted driving, drunk driving, speeding, slick roads during rain, driver fatigue on long journeys, and wildlife suddenly appearing on roadways. Defensive driving techniques, obeying speed limits, avoiding distractions, planning rest stops during long drives, and maintaining alertness can help reduce accident risk. According to Houston-based attorney Ryan Zehl, if an accident occurs, move to a safe location if possible, call 911, administer first aid if needed, and then consider seeking legal guidance.

Horseback Riding Injuries

Several ranches and parks around Texas offer horseback riding experiences catered to tourists. However, horseback riding does involve some inherent risk of falls and other accidents. Common injuries from falls include fractures, sprains, and bruises, with around 10% of injuries head-related. Horse kicks and bites can also cause blunt trauma. Using attentive horses suited for novice riders, wearing helmets and boots, getting basic riding instruction beforehand, and not startling horses can help reduce mishaps. Carefully mount and dismount under supervision. If injured after a fall, avoid trying to stand or walk until properly evaluated by medical personnel. Monitor for signs of concussion or internal bleeding.

Jellyfish Stings

Several species of jellyfish inhabit the warm coastal waters of Texas. They are prevalent from March to October. Jellyfish stings are painful and can cause reactions like skin welts, muscle cramps, nausea and headache. In rare cases, a severe allergic reaction can occur, leading to breathing trouble or shock, although deaths are rare, with only around 100 fatalities around the world annually. To treat a sting, remove any tentacles, rinse the skin with salt water, apply a paste of baking soda and seawater, and take over-the-counter pain medication as needed. Seek medical help if symptoms persist or worsen.

Venomous Snakebites 

Texas has 105 snake species, including six types of venomous snakes: copperheads, cottonmouths, coral snakes and three varieties of rattlesnakes. Hiking, camping, and water activities may put tourists at risk of being bitten. Snake venom can cause tissue damage, bleeding problems and other medical issues. Bites require prompt hospital treatment. To prevent snake bites, stay on marked trails, wear boots/long pants, avoid reaching into hidden spaces and leave snakes alone if encountered.


Texas gets over 250 sunny days per year statewide. With ample sun exposure, tourists are prone to painful sunburns, especially visitors from cooler climates. Symptoms include red, warm and tender skin developing hours after sun exposure. Blistering and peeling can occur in severe cases. To avoid sunburn, apply broad-spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen liberally and often. Seek shade during peak sun hours. Wear wide-brimmed hats and UV-protective clothing. Treat sunburns with aloe vera gel and over-the-counter pain medication. Severe blistering may require medical care to prevent infection and scarring.

With proper precautions, tourists can safely enjoy the incredible attractions, landscapes and activities that Texas offers. Staying informed of common injury risks is an important part of responsible travel in the Lone Star State. 

Disclaimer: “The content in this article is provided for general knowledge. It does not constitute legal advice, and readers should seek advice from qualified legal professionals regarding particular cases or situations.”


Published by: Khy Talara

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