Texting And Driving Penalties In Mississippi
Like 44 other states in the Union, the State of Mississippi has now banned texting and driving. Previously, the state law placed a ban on texting by drivers under 18 years of age and by drivers of school buses. As of July 1, 2015, the law prevents anyone driving a motor vehicle from reading, writing, or sending text messages, social media messages, and emails. The ban does not apply to these types of communications sent by a hands-free device. The current fine for texting while driving is $25, but it increases to $100 after July 1, 2016. The state highway patrol stated that despite the fact that officers cannot ask to see someone’s phone without a warrant, they plan to enforce the citations if the vehicle is being operated in a “careless or reckless manner.”
The Mississippi State Department of Health reports that 75 percent of adult drivers in Mississippi have stated that they have talked on their cell phone while driving a vehicle, and roughly 33 percent state that they have sent, written, or read a text message while driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, driving while distracted caused over 3,300 deaths in 2011. Distracted driving was the cause of 10 percent of fatal accidents and seventeen percent of accident-related injuries.
How To Avoid Distracting Driving Penalties
The Mississippi State Department of Health offers the following suggestions to reduce distractions before you drive:
- Get into the habit of turning off your phone when you enter your vehicle and turning it back on once you finish driving.
- If your phone is a great temptation, place it in your trunk while you drive.
- Record a greeting for your voicemail explaining that you are driving, that talking on the phone while driving is unsafe, and that you will return their call.
- Create a route that allows you extra time to talk on the phone in a parking lot before moving to your next location.
It also offers suggestions to help maintain safety while you drive:
- Don’t speak on the phone while driving, even with a hands-free or voice-recognition device. Park in a safe place before making or answering a phone call.
- Have one of your passengers place calls or send messages for you while you are driving.
- Let another person drive so that you can make or receive phone calls safely.
- Focus on the road and drive phone-free.
Injured In A Car Accident? Contact Us Today
If you have been involved in a car accident involving texting while driving, or other types of distracted driving by another vehicle on the road, you may have questions about your rights as an injured party. It is important to speak with an experienced automobile accident attorney as soon as possible. Contact the Biloxi Law Offices of Judy Guice today at (228) 374-9787 for your free consultation.