A two-vehicle crash has left one person dead on the Northside early Saturday morning. Darrin Head, 29, was heading north on North Main Street, north of Yellow Bluff Road when his pickup crossed and collided head-on with a car in the southbound lane. The car driver, Matthew Likewise, 27 of Jacksonville is in Shands with critical injuries. His passenger died at the hospital while Head suffered minor injuries in the accident which happened 2:25 a.m. Charges are pending according to the Florida Highway Patrol. A News4Jax story reports that the passenger was not wearing a seat belt. There was a second passenger in the car who also suffered minor injuries.
Our condolences go out to the family and friends of the unnamed person in the vehicle who lost their life so suddenly in this crash. So many lives are permanently altered in a moment.
Seat Belts Accident Statistics
This Jacksonville head-on car accident highlights the importance of seat belts. It is not coincidence that the person who died was not wearing a seat belt, although the report does not tell us if the others were.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration traffic fatalities statistics have just been released for 2009. The numbers show that there were 33,963 highway deaths for 2009, a drop of 8.9 percent from the previous year. NHTSA attributes the decline in 2009 to a combination of factors that include high visibility campaigns like Click It or Ticket to increase seat belt use, and Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest which helps with the enforcement of state laws to prevent drunk driving and distracted driving.
Wrong-Way Crash Cause
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reports that overall about 1.5 % of fatal crashes result from driving the wrong-way. The causes are numerous and include:
- Older drivers who are easily confused
- Drivers who are purposely driving the wrong-way to, for instance, avoid traffic jams
- Drivers who aren’t paying attention and mistake an on-ramp for an off-ramp or vice versa.
In a traffic situation be particularly attentive to wrong-way drivers, especially on the inside lane. Wrong-way accidents most often lead to a head-on or side-swipe crash. But there are other considerations before one can determine the at-fault driver. Was the driver distracted? Did he lose control of his vehicle? Was there debris on the road or a reason to cross over into head-on traffic? Was there a vehicle defect or malfunction with his vehicle? Were the seat belts defective?
Claim for Compensation
It is possible that the injured parties may be able to file a third-party claim against the auto maker if it is determined that an auto product defect caused this fatal accident. A negligent driver could also be held liable. If there is a dangerous or defective roadway, or the signage is inadequate, the local governmental agency responsible for maintenance could be held liable as well. The best Jacksonville vehicle crash attorneys will always offer a comprehensive consultation to the injured parties and their families.