St. Lucie County Car Crash Kills Child
Several other people, including a 1-year-old child, were seriously injured in the second January vehicle collision to claim the life of a Treasure Coast child.
This incident occurred on Midway Road near the Glades Cut Off. A Fort Pierce man, who was westbound on Midway in a 2003 Acura, failed to slow down as he approached a 1999 Honda that was almost stopped before it made a right turn. Due to the force of the collision, the Acura flipped over and catapulted into a 2016 Chevrolet. The 3-year-old was declared dead at the scene; the other injured victims, including her 1-year-old sister, were rushed to a nearby hospital. Authorities believe that the two children may not have been properly restrained.
Earlier in January 2018, a Port St. Lucie pedestrian died in an apparent hit-and-run, a four-vehicle crash killed a Titusville woman, and a North Palm Beach woman died in a single-car accident.
Car Crash Causes in Port St. Lucie
Although every case is different and must be thoroughly investigated, rear-end crashes such as the one described above often involve a combination of speed and distracted driving.
Excessive velocity is a factor in about a third of the fatal car wrecks in Florida. As the above story illustrates, speed increases both the risk of a car crash and the severity of the collision. Speed exponentially reduces braking distance. At 30mph, most vehicles travel about six car lengths from the moment their drivers see a hazard ahead to the moment these drivers can safely stop their cars. At 60mph, braking distance triples to eighteen car lengths.
Speed also exponentially increases the force in collisions, a phenomenon that Newton included in his Second Law of Motion. The same physical rule applies to loose objects in a passenger area. Cell phones, books, and other such items keep moving forward at the same speed until they too strike an immobile object, such as a person’s head.
Mobile devices are also one of the leading causes of distracted driving-related crashes. These items combine all three forms of distracted driving, which are:
- Cognitive (taking one’s mind off the road),
- Visual (taking one’s eyes off the road), and
- Manual (taking one’s hand off the wheel).
Note that hands-free devices are not much safer, because they still involve visual and cognitive distraction. Some observers believe such gadgets are even more dangerous, because they give drivers a false sense of security.
Some Car Crash Defenses in Port St. Lucie
The seat belt defense is very common in Florida. Even though courts reduce damages for seat belt non-use and the children in the above story may not have been properly restrained, the defense may not apply.
As many as 95 percent of parents use car seats incorrectly, not because they are careless but because they simply cannot follow the complex instructions. For the seat belt defense to apply, insurance company lawyers must introduce evidence that the victim was not properly restrained and that failure substantially caused the victim’s injuries.
The sudden emergency defense usually does not apply in Port St. Lucie car wreck cases either. This rule excuses liability in cases like a tire blow-out or a hood fly-up. It does not apply in cases like jaywalking pedestrians or slow-moving cars, because these situations are not unexpected events.
Partner with Aggressive Lawyers
Car crash victims are often entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Port St. Lucie, contact Eighmie Law Firm, P.A. We do not charge upfront legal fees in negligence cases.