Northwest Florida Daily News reports that a crash in Fort Walton Beach this past Friday resulted in a woman being ejected from a truck and flown to Pensacola after two trucks collided. A blue pickup truck in the northbound turning lane on Eglin Parkway near the South Avenue intersection around noon Friday, according to a media release from Fort Walton Beach Police Department. As the individual attempted to make an illegal left turn, he collided with a Silver Chevy Silverado that was traveling south on Eglin Parkway, the release said. Fort Walton Beach Police Captain William Royal said the blue pickup truck may have been trying to beat a yellow light. A passenger in the blue pickup truck, was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected. She was flown via Airheart from the scene. The release said she was taken to Sacred Heart Hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries.
The driver was given field sobriety tests on scene and was arrested. Two breath samples showed a blood alcohol level of nearly three times the .08 limit, the release said. He was charged with driving under the influence with great bodily injury. The driver of the Silverado was not injured, Royal reported.
Some quick facts for you to realize how important it is to wear your seatbelt
General Safety Belt Usage in Florida (2010)
- 1,450 people were killed in vehicles equipped with safety belts.
- 777 (54%) of these people killed were not wearing safety belts.
Safety Belt Usage by Drivers in Florida (2010)
- 180 drivers not wearing their safety belts were killed in traffic crashes.
- 4,803 drivers not wearing their safety belts were injured in traffic crashes.
- 12,938 drivers involved in traffic crashes were not wearing their safety belts.
- Drivers 15 – 19 years of age have the highest rate per 10,000 licensed drivers of crash involvement (363.97).
- Drivers 20 – 24 years of age have the highest rate of fatal crashes per 10,000 licensed drivers (3.05).
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) requires you to wear a seat belt while in an operating vehicle if you are:
- The driver of the vehicle.
- A front seat passenger of any age.
- Under 18 years old.
Failure to wear a seat belt could result in a fine of $30 plus any other associated legal fees and additional fees.
What does this tragedy show us? Lap and shoulder belts reduce the risk of critical injuries and death by about 50 %, but people have to use them for them to work. Seat belts help to keep you in a place during the critical moments before a crash – a time when your actions matter most. Be safe and buckle up.