A car changing lines on Interstate 15 near the University Avenue exit in Provo, Utah caused a fatal accident on Thursday, February 18, 2010. According to the Utah Highway Patrol, a Buick Century attempted to change lanes while traveling north in the center lane and hit a Chevy Cavalier in the right lane.
This Utah auto accident caused the Cavalier to spin causing the driver-side door to open. The car spun and both the passenger and the driver were thrown onto Interstate 15. KSL news is reporting that neither were wearing a seat belt. The two victims were transported to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, where the driver died. The passenger is reported to be in very-serious condition. Those riding in the Buick were not injured.
I offer my sincerest condolences to the family of the victim who was killed. I hope for the best for the other occupant as he/she fights for their life.
In a study of fatal crashes performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration from 2003 through 2007, only two percent of passenger vehicle occupants who were wearing a seatbelt were ejected from their vehicles, while 35.3 percent of unrestrained occupants were ejected during a crash. The NHTSA studied over 400,000 crashes in this time period and found that 14 percent of the crashes involved either driver or passenger being ejected from the vehicle. The study also found that the percentage of persons who were ejected was nearly twice as high when the posted speed limit was 60 mph or higher.
Seatbelt use significantly increases your likelihood of surviving an auto accident. Occupants are 2.3 times more likely to be fatally injured when ejected from their vehicles.
Ron Kramer is a Salt Lake City personal injury attorney with offices in Bountiful, Draper and Provo, Utah.