During the holiday season, families frequently take to the roads as they travel to visit relatives, shop, or to engage in other activities. As experienced auto accident attorneys, we know too well that it only takes a moment for a crash to happen and cause serious injury or even death. A tragic fatal crash which took the lives of three people and injured another on Florida roads on Saturday night serves as a devastating reminder to stay safe on the roads this holiday season.
Jacksonville.com, published by the Florida Times-Union, reports that only Robert Myers, 45, of Marietta, Georgia survived when the Ford Bronco he was driving veered off the road and struck a tree on Interstate 10 in Baker County on Saturday night. The Florida Highway Patrol reports that witnesses say he began to drive erratically for unknown reasons before the SUV left the road, slammed into a tree, and burst into flames. All four occupants of the Bronco were thrown from the vehicle because they were not wearing seat belts. Pamela Myers, 48, Michael Myers, 15, and an unidentified passenger died at the scene. Robert Myers remains in serious condition at a local hospital.
While it is too soon to know why Mr. Myers began to lose control of the vehicle (and it may never be known), investigators do know that not one person in this vehicle was wearing a seat belt. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC), in 2013 more than 2,450 people died in Florida motor vehicle crashes. The Florida Highway Patrol reports that roughly 48 percent of all people who died in Florida car crashes that year were not wearing seat belts, says the Orlando Sentinel. It is estimated that nearly 12,000 lives are saved in this country every year as a result of seat belts.
Every time we get into an automobile, whether we are driving or not, we put ourselves at risk. You cannot possibly control all safety threats when operating or when riding in a car, but you can certainly control whether you choose to wear a seat belt. We have been defending the rights of Floridians who were injured or lost a loved one to a car crash for many years, and we know that a simple seat belt is often the difference between life and death. This holiday season and throughout the year, we urge you to protect yourself and your loved ones by adhering to responsible, safe driving practices and ensuring that all occupants of vehicles you ride in are properly restrained.
If you have suffered serious injury or the tragic loss of a loved one in a car accident, we can help you hold negligent parties accountable and recover compensation for your damages. For more information on Florida auto accident lawsuits, please contact us today.