Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) October 27, 2016 - Florida leads the nation in the number of people who drown in their vehicles after car accidents.
According to an Orlando Sentinel analysis, 49 people drowned inside cars in Florida from 2008 to 2012. That is far more than Texas, the state with the second highest number of motor vehicle drownings, at 18 during the same time period. The actual number of drownings may be much higher. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found in 2011 that there was an average of 57 vehicle drowning deaths per year in Florida during the time period of 2004 to 2007. The federal study drew from the data on death certificates, which revealed drownings that were not reported as such by law enforcement.
“Florida has a high number of traffic accidents, and the abundance of lakes, ponds and canals add an additional danger,” said Robert Joyce, a Tampa car accident attorney with Joyce & Reyes. “Anyone who has been injured or lost a loved one in a motor vehicle collision should consult with an attorney to determine whether they may be entitled to compensation.”
Earlier this year, three Tampa Bay area teenagers died when the vehicle they were in plunged into a pond. Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department deputies had tried to pull the girls over for driving a stolen vehicle, and later they were accused of negligence for allegedly not doing enough to save the girls. On the same day, a woman drove into a pond in New Tampa, and her car quickly became completely submerged. Three bystanders dove into the pond, freed the woman from her seatbelt, and pulled her to the surface, saving her life.
Safety experts say that if a driver is conscious and remains calm, there is time to escape from a vehicle in the water. Electrical systems may be affected by water, so experts recommend carrying a hammer in the glove compartment to break a side window in the event that power windows cease operation.
Joyce and Reyes Law Firm, P.A.
307 S Hyde Park Ave
Tampa, FL 33606