Palm Harbor Head-On Crash Alt 19

March 9, 2016 – Two drivers were seriously injured in a head-on crash that occurred on Alt 19 south of Klosterman Road. The northbound vehicle reportedly swerved into the southbound lane and struck a vehicle that was headed south. The accident tied up traffic on Alt 19 for hours while the crash was being investigated.

Florida Statute 316.081 states that “a vehicle shall be driven upon the right half of the roadway, except as follows: (a) When overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction under the rules governing such movement; (b) When an obstruction exists making it necessary to drive to the left of the center of the highway; provided any person so doing shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles traveling in the proper direction upon the unobstructed portion of the highway within such distance as to constitute an immediate hazard; (c) Upon a roadway divided into three marked lanes for traffic under the rules applicable thereon; or (d) Upon a roadway designated and signposted for one-way traffic.”

Police typically determine which car drove left of center through: 1) witness statements; 2) debris field; 3) skid marks; and 4) gouge marks. When two vehicles hit head-on, tremendous forces are placed on the vehicle structures. These forces often result in metal parts of the vehicles being pushed downward into the roadway, which leave gouge marks in the road surface. Additionally, when tires stop rotating at the point of impact, rubber is oftentimes transferred to the roadway surface which can help investigators determine the exact position of the vehicles at the point of impact.