A 22-year-old woman from Putnam County, Florida and a baby were transported to Shands Hospital, at the University of Florida, Tuesday night following an accident that appears to be caused by the woman allegedly drifting off the road. The woman’s injuries have been listed as critical and the baby’s as serious.
According to the Gainesville Sun, the woman’s 1999 Ford Escort allegedly glided off the road at 7:57 p.m., hit a culvert and went airborne, overturning and landing on the roof. The two had to be cut out of the vehicle and a small fire was put out.
The woman was supposedly wearing her seat belt and the baby was confined in a child seat.
FHP is still investigating what caused the car to swerve off the road. Many times, this type of single car accident is caused by an unknown or “phantom” driver. If such an accident occurs, an injured party can make an insurance claim on their own “Under or Uninsured Motorist” Policy. This extra insurance protection provides an avenue of financial relief when it is unknown who causes an accident.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported the leading cause of death for children 3 to 14 years old is motor vehicle accidents. In 2009, 179,000 sustained injuries in car crashes and 1,314 children ages 14 and younger were killed. Over course of 2009, Florida had 70 children age 14 or younger die in roadway accidents.
Wearing safety belts or using child seats, like the woman and infant in this accident, have been proven to reduce the risk of fatalities in vehicle accidents to infants by 71 percent and 54 percent for toddlers. In 2009, there were 5,366 children age 14 and younger involved in deadly passenger vehicle accidents in the United States. Statistics show that 46 percent of children who received lethal injuries were not restrained by a child seat or belt. Of those who sustained fatal injuries, 46% were unrestrained.
The NHTSA estimates that 9,310 children riding as a passenger in a vehicle have avoided fatal injuries by using child safety seats or seat belts over the last 3 decades. Following their simple suggestions could save your child’s life. For an infant, use a rear-facing car seat with a protective harness to reduce trauma on their delicate body. For a child between the ages of 1 to 3 years old, use a car seat that faces forward because the harness thwarts forward movements if a crash occurs. A child aged 4 to 7 should use a booster seat to assist with fitting into an adult seat belt. A child between the ages of 8 and 12 should always use a properly fitting seat belt, as should all other passengers and drivers.
If your loved ones have been injured in an auto accident in Florida, contact the Florida Personal Injury Atorneys at the Law Offices of Whittel & Melton, LLC online or call 352-726-0078 or 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).