1/2/13: In the first hour of 2013, traffic homicide investigators were called to two major crashes that took three lives and sent four others to area hospitals. The first crash occurred at 12:28 a.m. on Atlantic Boulevard at Girvin Road, just before the Hodges intersection. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office says two people died in a crash when a station wagon pulled in front of an SUV. Police said the SUV rolled several times after the impact, killing a man and woman inside. The driver of the station wagon was taken to Shands Jacksonville Medical Center with minor injuries. In the second accident, which occurred 30 minutes later, a 20-year-old Central Florida woman is dead and three others seriously injured following a single vehicle crash just after midnight New Year’s Day near the intersection of Beach and Kernan boulevards. A 2003 silver Dodge Ram ran off the road and struck a large overhead sign post, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. No one in the Dodge Ram were wearing seat belts, according the report.
Read more at Jacksonville.com:1 killed; 3 seriously injured in New Years crash
Auto Accidents & The Importance of Seat Belts
In the event of an automobile accident, statistics show you are much more likely to be killed if you are not wearing a seat belt and shoulder harness. Florida law states that all passengers in a vehicle must wear seat belts. Below are some details about Florida seat belt laws which everyone operating or riding in a motor vehicle should be aware of.
Florida Seat Belt Stats and Laws:
- There is one traffic fatality every 16 minutes, 1 injury every 14 seconds. 1 property damage crash every 8 seconds and 1 law enforcement reported crash every 6 seconds. ClickItFLA.com
- Passengers up to the age of 18 must be belted when in either the front or back seat of a vehicle.
- All front seat occupants must buckle up.
- The driver is held responsible for passengers under 18 years of age who are not wearing seat belts as required by Florida law.
- Passengers 18 years of age or older may be individually fined if they are not wearing seat belts.
The most important job as a parent is to keep your children safe. Knowing the legal requirements when driving with your children in the car or allowing them to ride in someone else’s vehicle is just the first step. There are ways to go above and beyond that to ensure your child’s safety.
Florida laws on seatbelts and safety seats as pertaining specifically to infants and children
Infants should ride rear-facing in a back seat until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car safety seat’s manufacturer. At a minimum, children should ride rear-facing until they have reached at least 1 year of age and weigh at least 20 pounds. When children reach the highest weight or length allowed by the manufacturer of their infant-only seat, they should continue to ride rear-facing in a convertible seat.
- Toddlers and preschoolers “ It is best for children to ride rear-facing as long as possible to the highest weight and height allowed by the manufacturer of their convertible seat. When they have outgrown the seat rear-facing, they should use a forward-facing seat with a full harness for as long as they fit in it.
- School-aged children “ Booster seats are for older children who have outgrown their forward-facing car safety seats. Children should stay in a booster seat until adult belts fit correctly (usually when a child reaches about 4² 9³ in height and is between 8 and 12 years of age).
- Children who have outgrown their booster seats should ride in a lap and shoulder seat belt in the back seat until 13 years of age. Refer to http://www.dmvflorida.org/seat-belt-laws.shtml for further details and information regarding Florida Seat Belt Laws.
If you or a loved one is injured in an auto accident, call Edwards & Ragatz, P.A. today for your free consultation