The crash occurred near Martin County at about 2:15 p.m. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Cohen, 21, was driving a Ford Explorer when a tire blew, causing the Explorer to veer of the road and roll over. Cohen was apparently not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected from the Explorer, and died from injuries. Cohen’s passenger, Victor Cohen, was also injured in the car accident. The crash currently under investigation.
A Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles report showed that last year, there were a total of 5,207 seat belt violations reported by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, with 3,286 violations reported by the Miami-Dade County Sheriff’s Office. According to a Floridadrivers.com Fact sheet, there were 2,889 traffic fatalities in Florida, of which over 59 percent of the drivers were not using available restraint systems. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Association showed that seat belt use on highways increased to 90 percent, up from 87 percent in 2007. The consumer/safety group Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety note that lap-shoulder belts will decrease a front seat driver’s risk of fatal injury by 45 percent and the risk of moderate to critical injuries by 50 percent, depending on seating position and type of vehicle.
Campaigns for seat belt safety such as Click it or Ticket, safety advocates, and laws penalizing drivers who fail to use their seatbelts hopefully have made drivers aware of the importance of wearing your seat belt when driving. An accident causing serious injury and/ or death should not be the wake up call to abide by the law. It is clear that statistically, seat belts save lives, so please for your safety, always wear a seat belt when driving.