WJHG Channel 7 out of Panama City reports a Freeport man is dead after his motorcycle hit an SUV in Santa Rosa Beach this past weekend. The 58-year-old male was driving his motorcycle when a 69-year-old male pulled into his path. The Freeport male was reportedly unable to swerve in time and was killed in the impact. The crash occurred at the intersection of Highway 98 and County Road 83, soon after 3 p.m. Charges are pending in this case.
This intersection has brought much grief and angst to residents of Walton County. For months, residents have been asking Walton County Commissioners to put in some type of light at this intersection, especially after construction started on Draper Lake. This past Tuesday, county commissioners sate that they have contacted Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) a number or times, but urge residents to contact them as well. If the county did put in a temporary light, construction wouldn’t begin until mid-January. As residents conveyed to the Commissioners, they are anxious at this intersection because they worry what people will do who are not confident drivers trying to go across two-lanes of traffic. Commissioners voted to bring the temporary light to that intersection, and talk to FDOT to find ways to make it permanent.
Did you known that driving through an intersection is one of the most complex traffic situations motorists encounter. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has identified intersection safety as the number one high-risk area of highway safety. FHWA reports that, each year, more than 2.8 million intersection-related crashes occur in the United States, representing more than 44 percent of all reported crashes. Intersections are prone to serious traffic crashes simply because they place motor vehicle operators in an environment where motor vehicles directly cross paths, directly exposing drivers to traffic crashes in which little space is available to avoid the serious consequences of poor driver choices such as disobeying traffic signals, failing to stop at red lights, or “assuming” the right of way.
Here is some important things to remember when you approach an intersection (especially one without a traffic light)
- At intersections without “STOP” or “YIELD” signs, slow down and be ready to stop. Yield to traffic and pedestrians already in the intersection or just entering the intersection. Also, yield to the vehicle or bicycle that arrives first, or to the vehicle or bicycle on your right if it reaches the intersection at the same time as you.
- At “T” intersections without “STOP” or “YIELD” signs, yield to traffic and pedestrians on the through road. They have the right-of-way.
- When you turn left, give the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching that are close enough to be dangerous. Also, look for motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
- If you have parked off the road or are leaving a parking lot, etc., yield to traffic before reentering the road.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident at an intersection, contact us at Brannon & Brannon for a free consultation (850)-659-2252.