On September 6, 2015, three people, including an infant girl, were killed when a Mercedes SUV rear-ended a Nissan Maxima on the Florida turnpike in Lake County. Both vehicles ended up on their sides and engulfed in flames.

The infant girl was ejected from the Nissan.

And, according to the Florida Highway Patrol, the driver of the Mercedes was driving on a suspended license. At this point is it unknown why the Mercedes rear-ended the Nissan.

Unfortunately, car accidents are a common occurrence, given the high number of cars and miles of roads in Florida. It is always prudent to get refreshed on basic automobile safety tips.

Automobile Safety Tips

In an effort to prevent car accidents, which can be fatal for some, the following safety tips are provided here:

  • Follow all rules of the road and obey all traffic signals and signs;
  • Always wear your seat belt;
  • Always make sure children are properly secured – see section below on seat belts and children;
  • Do not drive when you are too tired;
  • Never drink or use drugs, illegal or prescription, and drive;
  • Never text and drive – never get distracted by your phone, the radio, the kids, etc. while driving;
  • Make sure your vehicle is in proper working condition and is free of mechanical defects; and
  • Never drive when your driving license has been suspended or revoked – driving on a suspended license is a moving violation and can constitute a misdemeanor.

Seat Belt Specifics

In Florida, all people in the front seat of a car must wear a seat belt, and all minors (people under 18 years old) must wear a seat belt, regardless of whether they are in the front or back seat.

Florida law requires all children of 4 or 5 years old to be properly restrained while in a car. Children who are 4 or 5 years old may be secured by a seat belt, a separate car seat or other carrier, or an integrated car seat that is part of the car. As long as the method used to secure the child is appropriate, the driver has complied with the law. In other words, if the child is tall and big enough to be properly restrained by a seat belt alone, then use of a seat belt alone is sufficient. If a seat belt does not fit the child appropriately and would not sufficiently restrain the child, then a booster seat should be used. Generally, for instance, children that are less than 4’9” tall and between 40 and 80 pounds should ride in a car with a booster seat.

Infants must be placed in the car in a rear-facing carrier until they are one year old and weigh 20 pounds.

Call Us Now

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, it is imperative that you contact a skilled Florida attorney. The attorneys at Reed & Reed have the experience needed to get you all the compensation to which you are entitled. From our office in Brandon, we help clients in Tampa, New Tampa, Plant City, East Hillsborough County and throughout the state of Florida. Contact Reed & Reed for a free consultation.