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Swerving to Avoid Animals Can Be Fatal

Terrible accidents can occur when a driver swerves to avoid hitting an animal.  Such was the case when a father with three young children in his car swerved to avoid a dog.  That split-second decision he was forced to make will likely be with him for the rest of his life. I do not know whose dog was in the road, but pet owners need to be responsible and keep their animals from creating a hazard on the highway.

The accident occurred on Monday morning when a Ford Explorer, apparently swerved to avoid hitting a dog that had wandered onto the road. The driver swerved and then corrected the path of his vehicle to avoid the dog.  A Chevy who was traveling in the opposing direction swerved to avoid Norman's initial movement. Tragically instead of avoiding the accident, the two vehicles collided head-on while traveling at approximately 45 mph on the roadway's yellow centerline.

The terrible wreck left one child dead, one in intensive care, and one thankfully with only minor injuries.  Both of the drivers of the vehicles involved in the collision were also listed in intensive care.  I pray for the drivers and the children's swift recovery and I grieve for the loss of the young child as any parent with children does when they hear of a child losing their life. 

No charges have been filed as yet but an investigation is continuing.  Let this serve as a reminder of the dangers when an animal is in the roadway.  Protect yourself and others.  The risks of swerving apply in all driving situations, not just when confronted with an animal; instead braking or stopping short of the obstruction may be better.

According to reports, there may have been some issues with the safety seats that the children were using in this wreck. Always remember that a safety seat is only safe when it is tightly secured in the car.  In Virginia, all children under the age of 8 must be properly restrained in a child safety seat or booster seat.  In Virginia, a citizen can visit any fire station and be assisted by a firefighter and shown how to properly install their child's car seat. This change to teaching a citizen on how to install the seat themselves, instead of installing it for them, is one of the changes in the National Child Passenger Safety Program Guidelines. 

In North Carolina fire stations no longer install seats.  Please see the NC Child Passenger Safety Resource Center website.


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