Driver safety emphasized after fatal Marion County crash

A Saturday crash that killed four and injured three others has prompted Florida Highway Patrol officers to urge drivers to take a greater interest in safe driving practices. The fatal car crash resulted when an SUV drifted onto the grassy median of State Road 93. The driver, a 17 year-old Tucker resident, hit the brakes and tried to get back on the road. The vehicle flipped and rolled, ejecting five people. Only one of the people in the car was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.

It is impossible to say what the result of this particular crash would have been if everyone in the vehicle was wearing a seat belt. What is clear is that seat belts have been proven to reduce the risk of serious injury in a car accident. Seat belts have saved countless lives and could have made all the difference in this tragic incident.

Police also took a moment to discuss safe driving practices when a car goes off the road. A crash involving a pavement drop-off leads to a fatality twice as often as other crashes. The problem is the tendency to panic and steer back onto the pavement as quickly as possible. Violent steering combined with most people’s inclination to slam on the brakes often leads to a rollover accident.

While topics such as defective cars and distracted driving get media attention, it is important to remember the part every driver plays in protecting themselves and others on the road. Safe driving includes knowing what to do when something unexpected occurs. Hopefully, Saturday’s tragic accident will help people understand the importance of wearing your seat belt and knowing how to cope with emergency situations on the road.

Source: Tucker Patch, “In Wake of Florida Tragedy, Patrol Stresses Safety,” 11 October 2011.