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CDC Report Finds Young Drivers Most Likely to Die in Auto Accidents

Orlando auto accident attorney James O. Cunningham would like to alert readers about a recently published report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that indicates younger, inexperienced drivers are most likely to die in auto accidents than any other age group is. In their recent Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the CDC found that in 2009, there were 34,485 motor vehicle deaths among U.S. residents, with 22 percent of those fatalities affecting people 15 to 24 years of age.

The CDC took fatal auto accident data from the 50 largest metropolitan areas of the country. They found that fatal accidents were most likely to occur in the southern United States and that some of the highest rates of fatal accidents occurred in Orlando, Fla., Memphis, Tenn. and Miami, Fla. Statistically speaking, the CDC found that the crash death rate was 10.9 deaths per 100,000 people among drivers aged 15 to 24.

In a statement, study co-author Laurie Beck of the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control said that these grim numbers were “pretty consistent with what we know about young people on the road.”

Since Orlando was cited among the most dangerous places for younger drivers, Mr. Cunningham and other Orlando personal injury lawyers have looked into CDC recommendations to help make Central Florida roadways safer for these and other motorists. The CDC recommends that graduated licensing polices are effective for lowering the death rates among least experienced drivers. They found that requirements that limit the independent driving of 16-year-olds, such as requiring adult supervision before allowing new drivers to progress to the next level of licensing, allow them to learn important driving skills. The study suggested that graduated licensing requirements could lower the auto accident crash risk among 16-year-olds by as much as 16 percent.

Beck also stressed the importance that parents play in new driver safety.

"Parents have an important role to play with teen driving in particular," she said.

She reports that the parents of new drivers are role models for appropriate driving behavior and recommends that parents create "parent-teen driving agreements” where teens sign agreements not to use their cell phones while driving and engage in other risky behavior behind the wheel. If new drivers honor their part of the agreement, parents could gradually increase driving privileges until they earn their independence.

Mr. Cunningham and other Orlando personal injury attorneys urge drivers of all ages to set a good example for young drivers by turning off their cell phones while driving and refraining from other types of distracted driving. He would like to remind readers that it only takes a moment’s distraction while behind the wheel to cause or become involved in an auto accident and that it is everyone’s responsibility to make Florida roadways safer. If you or a loved one was involved in an auto accident and you would like to speak with a skilled personal injury attorney, contact James O. Cunningham today at 800-425-2004.

James O. Cunningham

Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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