A 20-year-old Fort Myers, Florida, man lost control of his truck on Interstate 75 and lost his life. The Florida Highway Patrol reports that the man was heading south at a high rate of speed when the vehicle hit a curve north of the Bayshore Road exit. Because of the speed, the 20-year-old’s vehicle skidded onto the west side of the highway and then overturned four times. The young driver was ejected when his driver’s door opened. Despite the fact that he was wearing his seat belt, he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Our condolences go out to the family of this young driver.
Young Driver Traffic Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, young drivers, ages 15-to-20, represent 9 percent of the U.S. population in 2007, and 6 percent of the licensed drivers. But they also represent 19 percent of the fatalities in the United States in 2007.
Approximately two-thirds of the people killed in fatal young-driver crashes are the young drivers themselves or the passengers (of all ages) of the young drivers.
Of the passengers killed riding in vehicles with young drivers, 67 percent are in the same 15-to-20-year-old age group as the drivers. And 56% of the fatal crashes and 57 % of the fatalities involving young drivers occur on rural road-ways.
Since this driver was wearing his seat belt, I would want to know whether there was a failure of the seat belt. When a driver is thrown from the vehicle it increases the chances of a fatal outcome. Often injuries or death resulting from a crash are really due to failure of some safety restraint built into the vehicle.
The family of this young man, who had so much life ahead, should be sure an accident investigation includes determining whether there was an auto product defect in the seat belts that may have failed to keep him in the vehicle and led to his fatal injuries.