Mississippi has pretty relaxed laws when compared to other states regarding cell phones, texting, and driving. The only time texting and driving is banned is if a teen has a learner’s permit or a provisional license. Drivers of all ages and license status are free to make phone calls and use their phones while driving.
- A teen with a learner’s permit or provisional license cannot text and drive
- Other drivers with a regular operating license are allowed to text and make phone calls
Mississippi defines distracted driving as anything that endangers pedestrians, passengers, and drivers while taking your attention away from the road. According to the Mississippi State Department of Health, three quarters of adult drivers have reported talking on a cell phone while driving and one third have reported that they have sent, written, or read a text message while operating a vehicle.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has reported that 10 percent of deadly vehicle accidents included distracted drivers in 2011. Furthermore, injuries in accidents that involved distracted drivers were at 17 percent the same year. Overall, drivers who had their mind, sight, or hands in other places than they were supposed to were responsible for 3,331 deaths.
The Mississippi State Department of Health recommends turning off your cell phone, placing it in the trunk, and scheduling time to make and return phone calls once you get to your destination. This is to help cut down on car accidents and deaths caused by distracted driving.
Overall, the State of Mississippi has lenient laws when it comes to texting and driving. While it is not illegal for those with a regular operator’s license to use a cell phone while driving, the state does recommend not using your cell phone while you are operating a vehicle. This is for your safety and the safety of those around you.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Cell Phones and Texting: Distracted Driving Laws in Mississippi and was authored by Valerie Johnston.