North Florida Man Killed After SUV Flips

Two men riding in a truck in Northeast Florida accidentally flipped over Thursday night and one man lost his life.

A 38-year-old Elkton, Florida man was a passenger in the Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by his friend of St. Augustine. The man who was ejected was not wearing his seat belt when the vehicle traveled into the grass median and overcorrected before it flipped around 9 p.m. There is no word on why the vehicle drifted off the road except that that’s where the road curved. The driver, also not wearing his seat belt, was seriously injured and taken to Flagler Hospital in St. Augustine.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol report, alcohol was involved in the auto accident which occurred on State Road 207 in St. Johns County, south of Meadowbrook Road.

Our condolences go out to the family of the men involved.

Personal injury attorneys in Florida will tell you that wearing a seat belt is essential to saving lives. Whenever we hear a vehicle occupant was ejected, the first question we ask is, was he wearing a seat belt? More often than not, an ejected passenger will suffer a head injury which could ultimately be fatal.

A new survey shows that seatbelt use in Florida is at an all-time high – 85 percent – exceeding the national average of 84 percent. That may be due to the primary seat belt law that went into effect in June. It allows law enforcement to pull drivers over solely for not wearing a seat belt.

Back in 1998, only 57 percent of drivers buckled up.

A survey of drivers taken after the seat belt rule went into effect, found women were most likely to wear seat belts – 89 percent of women buckle up. The survey also found that drivers in South Florida tend to use seat belts more often than those in the northern or central region of Florida. Also auto drivers have a higher compliance rate (87 percent) than pickup truck drivers (80 percent).

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates the primary seat belt law should help save about 125 lives a year and prevent more than 1,700 serious injuries. Remember air bags will generally not be able to do the job of restraint that a seat belt will able to do. In combination, the belt keeps you in place, so when the air bag deploys, you are prevented from going through a windshield or into the steering wheel.

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