Argument Led to Auto Accident

A 30-year-old man from Fort Walton Beach is in serious condition after an argument Sunday night, January 10, led to a car accident in Florida. The 31-year-old driver from Fort Walton Beach, was heading west on SR 188 when she got into an argument with the front passenger. He reportedly grabbed the steering wheel while the car was in motion. The 2004 Nissan ran into the north shoulder and hit a tree. The passenger in the rear of the vehicle was not wearing his seat belt and flew into the front of the vehicle. The car suffered an estimated $7,000 in damages. Charges are pending.

We certainly hope the best for the recovery of the injured individuals. When one is not belted in, they can become a human cannonball thrown inside the vehicle, through a window, or into a windshield. Head injuries are the most common, devastating, and long-lasting effects from an auto accident.

Seat Belt Law
In 2008, Florida had 1,795 traffic deaths of drivers and passengers in Seat belt equipped vehicles. 60% or 1,085 of these people were not wearing their seat belts, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

And consider that air bags will generally not be able to do their job if you are not belted in.
While many argue that individuals should be able to determine whether or not they want to buckle up, the Florida Department of Transportation estimates 3 out of 5 motor vehicle fatalities are directly due to the failure to wear seat belts. That is why Florida joined 28 other states plus the District of Columbia in passing a primary seat belt law last June. An officer can now pull you over and fine you if your only offense is not wearing a seat belt.

Cost of Not Wearing Seat Belts
All Floridians pay the cost for those who do not wear seat belts.

There is the permanent injury one can receive. An inability to work due to a head injury costs taxpayers when that individual becomes dependant on the state. Employers pay about $22,000 per crash for an on-the-job incident and $110,000 per injury due to lost productivity, higher insurance, and medical costs.

There is the terrible cost when a child sees a parent permanently disabled. And the cost of hospital care for an unbuckled driver is 50 percent higher than those for a driver wearing a safety belt. Florida citizens – not the individual – bear 85 percent of those costs.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that the new primary seat belt law should help save about 125 lives every year and prevent more than 1,700 serious injuries.

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