Two People Dead in Car Accident in West Palm Beach
Two people were declared dead after a car accident on Okeechobee Boulevard recently in West Palm Beach. According to the police, the accident happened a little after 4:30 p.m. and involved two vehicles. A Mitsubishi driven by Alexia Howard, 23, was heading eastbound in the right center lane of the road, with the right of way. A Volkswagen driven by Julio Gomez, 81, attempted to make a left turn south onto Wekiva Way from the westbound Okeechobee Boulevard at the same time.
When Mr. Gomez turned in front of Ms. Howard she crashed into the passenger side of his vehicle. The impact sent the Volkswagen into a ditch on the side of the road and instantly killed Mr. Gomez’s wife sitting in the passenger’s seat, Rosa Gomez, 74. Mr. Gomez was rushed to the hospital after the accident where he unfortunately passed away from his injuries. Ms. Howard only suffered minor injuries and was later released.
As of now, no criminal charges are pending, and the police do not believe that drugs or alcohol played a role in the accident. However, this accident is just one of many that illustrate the dangers of elderly drivers on the road in Florida.
Florida Car Accidents
Florida leads the nation in the number of fatal car accidents involving seniors. As the number of Baby Boomers increases and more are moving to Florida for its year-round warm weather, senior crash rates could get worse before they get better. According to researchers, by 2030, over one-quarter of the state’s population will consist of elderly drivers over the age of 65 years old. In fact, in the next 20 years Florida is expected to see an increase in population of five million people, over half of which will be seniors.
The national transportation group TRIP released a report that looked at the 2010 federal car accident statistics. The report showed that in Florida, 503 car accident fatalities involved seniors drivers and 271 seniors died as a result of car accidents in 2010. The total fatality counts were higher than any other state, including California, which is the only state that has more elderly citizens than Florida.
As a result, the TRIP group recommended that Florida invest in better designed roadways, clearer traffic signs and signals, increased driver testing for license renewals, and other transportation alternatives for seniors such as buses, ridesharing, and other options. Other options for improving senior driver safety include developing elder-friendly vehicles or instituting a tiered licensing system for elderly drivers like the program that was instituted in California.
Call a Florida Car Accident Attorney Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in the West Palm Beach area, reach out to the attorneys at Gary Roberts & Associates. We are prepared to assist you in any way we can.