A seventeen-year-old girl is in critical condition after driving her car off an Interstate 75 ramp. The vehicle landed upside-down in a retention pond. She was nearing the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway from the I-75 exit ramp when she went off the north shoulder. At this point it is not clear what caused the accident, but the Infiniti sedan fell about 50 feet before landing in the pond. She is very fortunate to be alive after falling such a distance and landing in water.
Tampa General Hospital is the medical facility where she was taken to be treated and where she remains in critical condition. Road workers witnessed the accident which took place at about 10:18 a.m. Monday. They assisted in retrieving her from the wreckage and reportedly one worker conducted CPR.
The exact cause of the crash remains unknown. If investigators discover that cell phone use played a role, the accident may renew calls for Florida to legislate cell phone use while driving. Teenagers tend to be particularly active cell phone users. Driving and phone use is clearly ill-advised, but various studies have shown it to be commonplace. In a sense, technology has surpassed society’s ability to regulate it effectively.
When public policy catches up with technology, there will be fewer injuries and deaths related to distracted driving. No young person’s life should be endangered because of distracted driving.