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Friday, December 3, 2021

Continued Lack of Seat Belt Usage Affecting Central Florida Drivers and Passengers

Numerous deaths have occurred in Orlando and throughout Central Florida involving drivers not wearing their seat belts.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, on the morning of June 27, two passengers were ejected from a 2003 GMC Envoy at 4:30 a.m. If the passengers were wearing their seat belts, they would have at least been secure in the vehicle during the crash after the driver lost control of the Envoy and hit a guardrail on the right side of the road.

The Florida Highway Patrol report that one of the passengers thrown from the SUV died at the scene.

A second passenger, who was thrown from the vehicle, and the driver, who was inside the vehicle, were seriously injured. It is unknown if the driver was wearing a seat belt.

This accident comes only seven days after another fatal crash where a passenger who wasn’t wearing a seat belt was thrown from the vehicle. A 43-year-old woman was thrown from a 2004 GMC SUV on Interstate 4, according to state troopers.

A 10-year-old girl and a five-year-old boy, along with the 22-year-old driver, were all seriously injured in the crash. Candida Nonthe Pena died at the scene because she was thrown from the passenger seat. Two other passengers in the vehicle, a one-year-old boy who was strapped in and a 38-year-old passenger, Reina Coello Muthe, who also wore a seat belt, were taken to a local hospital with only minor injuries.

Although seat belts continue to save people’s lives, too many drivers and passengers are still not wearing them. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, young drivers ages 18 to 34 are less likely to wear seat belts than people over 35 years old. In addition, men are 10% less likely to wear seat belts than women.

WSTP reports another June accident that the Florida Highway Patrol is investigating had seven vehicles crash into each other. The crash left four dead and some were not wearing their seat belts.

“Heartbreaking, to say the least,” said Sgt. Steve Gaskins of the Floda Highway Patrol, noting that simply wearing a seat belt could have saved some lives. “People might have walked away from this crash. Even if they get sent to the hospital with some bums and bruises, it’s much easier to deal with than trying to make next of kin notifications to a family for for a loss of a loved one.”

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