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.

KEY FINDINGS

  • 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.