Early last Saturday morning, a male was driving his motorcycle south on SR-77 when a second driver merged into the south lane of SR-77 from the central median divide and side swiped the motorcycle. The front of the motorcycle collided with the left side of the vehicle. The driver of the motorcycle fell off his motorcycle and is now in critical condition at Bay Medical Center. Officials say the driver of the motorcycle was wearing a helmet, and at this time charges are pending.
Early last Sunday morning, another horrible accident happened on another rural road in Bonifay. According to FHP, the driver and the passenger were heading southbound on CR-173 when they passed another vehicle in a “no passing zone.” The driver of the vehicle lost control and entered into a ditch. The vehicle overturned several times and the two occupants were ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead on scene. Officials say neither occupant was wearing a seatbelt, and alcohol may have been a factor. At this time officials are still investigating who was driving the car at the time of the crash.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured and their families.
Nationwide, 54 percent of motor vehicle deaths in 2013 occurred in rural areas. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that, in 2013, nearly 3,000 more fatal car accidents happened on rural roads than on busy urban streets. Why? People driving rural roads tend to drive faster. They drive without seat belts at higher rates. More of them drive and die drunk. When they’re injured in accidents, they may not get timely emergency medical care given the remoteness of many rural roads. And, deer, elk, moose and other wild animals are more likely to dart out into traffic on rural roads. Some experts note that the outdated design and layout of many rural highways are also factors. Driving errors that are manageable on urban roads become deadly on rural highways. Victor Mendez, administrator of the Federal Highway Administration, notes that there is little room to recover if a driver makes a mistake on a rural highway…”The lanes are much more narrow. You look at trees and ditches. Chances are they’re closer to the roadway than they would be on an interstate.
We all need to practice defensive and safe driving, no matter if you are in the middle of a city or on one of our many rural roads in Northwest Florida. .