Fighting for Florida Car Accident Victims Since 1977

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August 29, 2012

Orlando personal injury attorney James O. Cunningham recently came across a study published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration illustrating how seat belts save lives in auto accidents. According to the study, in more than 50 percent of the fatal auto accidents in this country each year, the victims are not wearing safety belts. The study shows that a properly worn seat belt reduces a front passenger’s risk of being fatally injured by 45 percent and their risk of sustaining a serious injury by 50 percent. People who buckle up in the rear seats of SUVs fare even better in accidents – 73 percent of them reduce their risk of serious injury simply by buckling up.

Most of the safety advantages of seat belt use are due to the physics of auto accidents. When a driver sees another automobile or another object in their path, he can begin the braking process in a fraction of a second. However, it is very important to note that while the car may be slowing, the driver and passengers remain traveling at the previous speed for a critically important second or two before they begin to slow down. Think about it this way: when you are driving through a parking lot at a low speed and someone suddenly backs out of a space, you tap the brakes and everyone in your vehicle lurches forward slightly. Now imagine that same situation while traveling at 55 mph instead of 5 mph.

If you are not restrained by a safety belt when the driver slows at highway speeds, you hit the steering wheel or the dashboard many times harder than you would at parking lot speeds. Essentially, the unyielding surface of the steering wheel or dashboard is absorbing all the forward momentum of your body. The problem is, they are hard, unyielding objects, and, when struck by a human body traveling at 55 mph, your body absorbs most of that energy.

Airbags are a huge leap forward in automotive safety equipment, but their effectiveness is also determined by seat belt use. This and other studies indicate that at least 80 percent of drivers and a slightly lower percentage of passengers use seat belts every time they get in an automobile. While that is a huge improvement over 30 years ago, when only 11 percent regularly used them, some drivers mistakenly believe that they don’t need to buckle up, as the airbags will protect them in an accident. Airbags are designed to protect people who are restrained by a seat belt. Without proper restraint, a driver or passenger can be thrown out of position and into an area without airbag protection and critically injured or killed by the impact.

In nearly 40 years of practicing law, Orlando auto accident attorney James O. Cunningham has assisted countless people injured in vehicular accidents, including many who learn that their devastating injuries would have been less severe if they had simply buckled their seat belt. He strongly urges everyone to buckle up every time they get into an automobile and practice defensive driving to protect themselves from serious injury.

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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If you or someone you love has been injured in a vehicle accident, call toll-free at 1-888-FLA-Auto (1-888-352-2886).

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We have 15 convenient office locations around Central Florida to better serve our auto accident clients.

15 Florida Locations

Orange County:
Orlando, FL

236 South Lucerne Circle East
Orlando, FL 32801
Phone: 407-425-2000

Seminole County:
Lake Mary, FL

1001 Heathrow Park Lane, Suite 4001
Lake Mary, FL 32746
Phone: 407-487-4408

Osceola County:
Kissimmee, FL

17 S. Orlando Ave.
Kissimmee, FL 34741
Phone: 407-966-4408

Volusia County:
Daytona Beach, FL

1301 Beville Rd., Suite 8
Daytona Beach, FL 32119
Phone: 386-243-4994

Volusia County:
DeBary, FL

465 Summerhaven Drive, Suite C
DeBary, FL 32713
Phone: 386-320-3911

Volusia County:
Deland, FL

120 South Woodland Blvd.
Deland, FL 32720
Phone: 386-206-1264

Citrus County:
Inverness, FL

110 North Apopka Ave.
Inverness, FL 34453
Phone: 352-205-4341

Polk County:
Lakeland, FL

1102 S. Florida Ave., Suite 104
Lakeland, FL 33803
Phone: 863-968-7551

Polk County:
Winter Haven, FL

325 Avenue A, N.W.
Winter Haven, FL 33881
Phone: 863-968-7173

Hillsborough County:
Tampa, FL

100 S. Edison St. Suite D
Tampa, FL 33606
Phone: 813-355-9772

Marion-Sumter Counties:
The Villages, FL

3420 U.S. Hwy. 27/441
Fruitland Park, FL 34731
Phone: 352-419-0825

Lake County:
Mt. Dora, FL

602 East 5th Ave.
Mt. Dora, FL 32757
Phone: 352-436-4696

Lake County:
Clermont, FL

900 W. Highway 50
Clermont, FL 34711
Phone: 352-503-4674

Brevard County:
Titusville, FL

506 S. Palm Ave.
Titusville, FL 32780
Phone: 321-222-7300

Brevard County:
Cocoa, FL

96 Willard Street, Suite 206
Cocoa, FL 32922
Phone: 321-757-1373

Client Reviews

  • I was involved in a motor vehicle accident where the other driver ran a red light and my car was a total loss. I was referred to James Cunningham due to the fact that our attorney’s have been very impressed with James Cunningham’s work. This fact turned out to be very true… A Personal Injury Client
  • My car accident case was handled by Mr Cunningham and I was very pleased with how everything was done. He handles his own cases and his staff is top notch. He got me a very nice settlement without going to court. Derek
  • We contacted Jim Cunningham to help guide us through the "maize" of possible outcomes in settling with insurance companies, medical bills, and even police investigation with the accident. David
  • Cunningham worked hard was professional, supportive, diligent and always maintained contact. I am very satisfied with the service that him and his team provided. Mr Cunningham is a lawyer that will work for you. Dezhaun
  • I consulted with several attorneys, but as soon as I met James Cunningham, I knew he was the right attorney for me. He immediately expressed concern for my well-being, and his compassionate, professional manner put me at ease. Diane