According to Mississippi Public Radio, the state is top ten in accidental injury deaths (car accidents are the leading cause of death in citizens of Mississippi). These accidents take an immense toll on victims—as any skilled personal injury lawyer who works with these families and individuals can attest. Tangi A. Carter, PLLC is an attorney in Hattiesburg, MS that handles car accident cases.
What is contributing to these high numbers? Albert Land with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation cites the state’s high speed limits as one of the major culprits. Mississippi has one of the higher speed limits in the country. Studies have shown that for every file mile per hour increase in the speed limit, the death rate for car accidents goes up. Another culprit is the lack of restrictions placed on younger drivers. Younger drivers are generally more at risk of getting into accidents due to their inexperience. In Mississippi, young drivers are not required to be supervised for a period of time under a restricted license. Additionally, there are no limits on the number of passengers teen drivers can carry in their cars. Other states impose strict limits on the number of passengers teen drivers can transport. Studies have shown that teen drivers are more likely to be involved in an accident when they are carrying more passengers. Teen drivers carrying underage passengers are particularly at risk.
Finally, one of the major contributing factors to accidents is distracted driving. Before July 1 of this year, texting and driving had been legal in Mississippi. According to the Hattiesburg American, the new texting and driving law will result in a civil violation and fine of $25 for offenders. In one year, the fine will increase to $100.
Mississippi is one of the last states to finally approve a texting and driving ban. Previously, the ban only applied to younger and less experienced drivers. The new law has had a mixed reception. Some officers are concerned that the new texting and driving law will be hard to enforce. For instance, it can be difficult for officers to recognize texting and driving violations while patrolling city streets.
Even so, many argue that texting and driving laws will reduce distracted driving accidents. Texting and driving is known to result in a greater accident risk. However, without a law to back this up, victims of distracted driving would have had more difficulty making a case against negligent parties in court. Now, if car accident victims can establish that the other driver was breaking the law, they’ll have an easier time recovering medical expenses, lost wages, and compensation for pain and suffering.
The new texting and driving laws alone, however, won’t likely eliminate accidents altogether.
Mississippi’s high accident rates will likely be solved through a combination of tougher laws, decreased speed limits, and better enforcement of current laws. Victims of car accidents can also increase awareness by seeking the counsel of a personal injury lawyer and by taking their case to court. Personal injury cases allow victim’s voices to be heard in a public forum, and could have the effect of decreasing the risk of accidents in the future, by imposing strict sanctions on negligent drivers. Visit www.tcarterlaw.com or call 601-408-6302 to speak with an attorney in Hattiesburg, MS regarding a personal injury case.

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