Orlando personal injury attorney James O. Cunningham is following developments in a bill that would cause our state’s youngest and least experienced drivers to wait until they turn 17 to receive a driver’s license. State Representative Irving Slosbert of Boca Raton (D) is sponsoring a bill currently working through committees that would raise the legal driving age to 17 in the hope that another year of experience and maturity will make Florida streets and highways safer. However, at least one Florida driving instructor is skeptical of the proposed law. Tony DiStefano has 15 years of experience teaching young drivers at Safer Dixie Driving School in Largo. He says that education, not age, should be the focus to make streets and highways safer.
“You can have one 16-year-old who is mature beyond their age, and then you could have another 16-year-old who, you know, you wouldn’t let ride a bike,” said DiStefano. “Without the education, you know, that’s still… You don’t know if that’s going to work or not ’cause basically it’s only a year, which isn’t that much.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), auto accidents are the leading cause of death for people aged 16 to 20. NHTSA statistics indicate that 251 Floridians in that age group died in 2009 from injuries they suffered in auto accidents. Statistics show that drivers in this age group are also most likely to talk and/or text on mobile telecommunication devices while driving, contributing to our state’s distracted driving problems that the state legislature has yet to address. Lawmakers have introduced many distracted driving bills over the last several years, but our elected representatives have yet to take action.
Orlando personal injury lawyer James O. Cunningham agrees with Mr. DiStefano about the differences in maturity of younger drivers, but wholeheartedly supports anything that makes Florida streets and highways safer for everyone, such as a substantive distracted driving law. Our state is one of a few left in the country that doesn’t have a distracted driving law on the books, and there’s little doubt that at least some of the 251 kids killed in auto accidents in 2009 were talking or texting at the time of the accident. If you’ve been injured by a distracted driver and you need to speak with a Florida cell phone accident lawyer, call Mr. Cunningham today at 888-425-2004 or 407-425-2000.
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.
Connect with James O. Cunningham on Google+