Distracted Driving in Mississippi

In 2014, the Center for Mississippi Health Policy developed an Issue Brief that summarized the available evidence related to distracted driving and outlined policy considerations.


  • One out of every twelve motor vehicle crash-related deaths in Mississippi is distraction related.
  • Texting drivers are at high risk of experiencing a dangerous traffic event — 23 times the risk of those not driving distracted.
  • The estimated medical care cost for moderate to severe crash-related injuries in 2011 in Mississippi was $38.6 million, with high risk distracted driving behaviors contributing to these costs.
  • All but two states have some form of ban on texting while driving:
    • Forty-four states ban texting for all drivers, and
    • Four states, including Mississippi, limit their bans to certain drivers.
  • Twelve states prohibit the use of any hand-held mobile phone while driving.
  • Mississippi’s current law bans the use of any mobile device for beginning drivers and for bus drivers with young passengers aboard.
  • Enforcement is an important consideration, and most states with texting bans have primary enforcement provisions whereby drivers can be cited by law enforcement officers when texting is the only offense.
  • Research indicates that texting bans for all drivers coupled with primary enforcement results in a significant reduction in motor vehicle crash deaths.

To download a copy of the Issue Brief click HERE.