A single-car wreck in Jacksonville has left one person dead and three injured, including a baby. None of the automobile occupants was wearing a seat belt. The accident happened on Edgewood Avenue and Valley Forge Road Monday morning.
Police report that the three people were heading west when their vehicle suddenly hit a sign and a telephone pole about 6 a.m. and then went airborne, during which time all three occupants were ejected. A 20-year-old woman was taken to Shands Jacksonville where she was pronounced dead.
We know there was fog on the road at the time of the accident and the roads were wet. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is asking for any witnesses to help with information on the case by calling 904-630-0500, or call Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS and you can remain anonymous.
In an accident, the insurance company for the other side will argue that there should be little or no liability because the individuals were not wearing a seat belt. The driver’s attorney can argue that wearing a seat belt in this case would not have increased the chance for survival or avoiding injury.
In 2008, The Florida Highway Patrol reports that there were 1,795 traffic deaths of drivers and passengers in the state, 60% or 1,085 of these people were not wearing their seat belts.
And 68 % of the children up to age 17 killed in auto accidents in Florida last year were not using safety equipment such as seat belts or child restraint systems.
Ever since last June, the law in Florida is clear. It is the law for adults to wear seat belts and children, or anyone under the age of 18, is always supposed to be in a seat restraint, the type depends on his/her size. It is now a primary offense, meaning you can be pulled over merely for a seat belt violation.
Many argue that individual rights should trump a mandate to buckle up, but the state decided that public safety requires everyone to follow rules of public safety regarding seat belts.
But one in five drivers is still not buckling up, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. And the Florida Department of Transportation estimates that 3 out of 5 motor vehicle fatalities are directly due to the failure to wear a seat belt.
Even if you opt not to wear your seat belt, at least give your child a fighting chance to live through an auto accident.