Public health can take on many different forms. The Center has devoted several projects to covering topics ranging from texting while driving to ATV safety. The content in this section not only includes research and data but also surveys on Mississippian’s opinions on these topics.

◆ Distracted Driving◆ All-Terrain Vehicles◆ Youth Sports-Related Concussion◆ Publications

Hand-held Mobile Device Use While Driving

Distracted driving increases the risk of a motor vehicle crash, the top cause of death for Mississippians under 45 years of age. Despite known risks, many people continue to use mobile devices while driving, a leading cause of driver distraction. The Center conducted two surveys on Mississippian’s opinions regarding texting while driving which are summarized here.

Why this is important:

  • Three-quarters (75%) of Mississippi adults reported they had talked on a mobile phone while driving, and nearly half (46%) had texted while driving.
  • Three out of four (75%) adults in Mississippi reported awareness of the law banning texting while driving, and most (54%) said they had stopped texting while driving after its enactment, while another quarter (25%) said they had reduced this behavior following passage of the law.
  • Nearly all (95%) Mississippi adults surveyed expressed support for texting bans; a large majority (80%) supported hand-held bans, and some (39%) favored bans on all use of mobile devices while driving except in emergency situations.
  • One out of every twelve motor vehicle crash-related deaths in Mississippi is distraction-related.
  • 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.

To read more, click HERE or go to our publications tab.

All-Terrain Vehicles in Mississippi: Policy Options for Saving Lives

As of 2010 Mississippi ranked thirteenth highest in the nation for the number of deaths from ATV injuries, Mississippians of all ages are 3.5 times more likely to die from an ATV accident when compared with national ATV death rates.

Why this is important:

  • Mississippi children less than sixteen years of age have 28% higher rates of death from ATV injuries than people sixteen years and older.
  • ATV injuries treated in emergency rooms nationally have increased over time by 84% from 82,000 to 150,900.
  • In 2009, the ATV injury rate of 54.4 per 100,000 in youth under sixteen years was nearly double the injury rates of 33.6 per 100,000 for those sixteen and over.
  • Economic costs associated with ATV deaths for children nationwide increased by $300 million from 2000 to 2004. During the same time frame, economic costs from ATV-related fatalities increased by $1,008 million for adults.
  • States without safety legislation have a collective death rate two times higher than states with ATV safety legislation.
  • Helmet use alone by ATV riders has been found to reduce the risk of death by 42% and head injury by 64%.
To read the full report, click here.

youth sports-related concussion

Sports-related injuries are one of the most common causes of concussions in children and young adults. In the US an estimated 1.6-3.8 million sports-related concussions occur annually, accounting for 5-9% of all sports-related injuries. According to the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, sports-related concussions affected about 2.25 million high school students in 2017. The prevalence and negative consequences of sports-related concussions have led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to consider sports-related concussions a major public health issue among children and young adults. As of 2015 approximately 113,136 children and young adults were participating in high school athletics in Mississippi. In Mississippi between 2015 and 2018 4,900 concussions were diagnosed in a clinical setting for children ages 4 to 19.

To read the full report, click here.