Car accidents can be scary, life-changing events. Victims often face unexpected costs, severe pain, and long recovery times. Unfortunately, Mississippi is one of the most dangerous places to drive in the United States, and our state reports more fatal car crashes than average.
If you or someone you love survives a car crash, you need to know how to stay safe and protect your future. At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, our team has seen first-hand how much harm an accident can do. That’s why we fight for victims, hold reckless drivers responsible for their actions, and educate Mississippi drivers about safety. Keep reading for real-world tips on what to do if you get in a car crash in Mississippi.
What Makes Mississippi Such a Dangerous Place to Drive?
Mississippi consistently ranks as one of the deadliest places for car accidents. In 2018 alone, 664 people died in vehicle crashes in our state, according to IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety). Nationwide, for every 100,000 people, 11.2 died in car crashes. In Mississippi, the death rate in 2018 was 22.2.
Many factors make Mississippi’s roads so hazardous. Here are some of the most common issues.
Mississippi Drivers Don’t Always Buckle Up
Compared to the national average, Mississippi drivers are less likely to use seatbelts. The Mississippi Department of Transportation reports that 50% of our state’s fatal crashes involve an unrestrained motorist. While more than 90% of drivers nationwide use seatbelts, roughly 78% of Mississippi’s population buckles up.
The simple act of putting on a seatbelt saves lives. Research shows that when you use a seatbelt or an age-appropriate child seat, your chances of dying in a car accident drop by 50%. It’s also the law. Since 2017, it’s illegal for anyone, including backseat passengers, to ride in a vehicle without a seatbelt.
Rural Crashes Tend to Have Higher Death Rates
Our state is mostly rural. Winding country roads, where the speed limits can go up to 70 miles per hour, are four times as dangerous as city streets, which are often capped at 45 miles per hour. Speeding is one of the top causes of car wrecks.
Additionally, time is essential after any car accident. It usually takes longer after a rural car accident to see a first responder or get medical care. Sometimes, police, firefighters, and EMTs have to drive long distances to get to a rural crash. Country hospitals also tend to be more isolated, harder to get to, and have fewer resources than large city hospitals.
All of these factors contribute to a higher-than-average fatality rate. While you can’t eliminate risk entirely, there are steps you can take to stay safe on the road.
Mississippi’s Drunk Driving Laws Are Unique
Drunk driving is a common factor in fatal crashes, both nationwide and in Mississippi. Unfortunately, our state ranks #4 for drunk driving. Many safety advocates argue that Mississippi’s DUI laws don’t discourage drunk driving enough.
We are the only state that does not make it illegal to drink while driving, although you’ll get arrested if your blood-alcohol concentration is over the legal limit.
Safety Tips for Driving in Mississippi
At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, our priority is the health and wellness of our family, friends, and neighbors in Mississippi. A few safe driving habits our team of auto accident attorneys recommends include:
- Always wear your seatbelt
- Make sure your children wear their seatbelts
- Make sure young children and babies travel in proper car seats and booster seats
- Always drive sober and never under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Avoid distractions behind the wheel, including talking on your phone, texting or sending messages, or checking social media
- Drive defensively
While taking precautions doesn’t protect you from other drivers’ negligence causing an auto accident, it can save you from unnecessary risk and injury.
What to Do After a Mississippi Car Crash
If you got in a car wreck, but it wasn’t your fault, you have options, and you deserve to know what they are. Here’s what to do after a crash.
Call First Responders and Assess Everyone’s Injuries
After a crash, make sure you call the police right away. They will come to the scene of the crash and make a police report about the accident, which will be important evidence for your case later. If someone is hurt, call an ambulance and go to the hospital right away.
Take Pictures of the Crash
If it is safe to do so, take photos of your car after a crash with your phone. Do your best to capture images of the other vehicle or vehicles involved, the road, or anything else that impacted the crash, like a down tree or debris in the road.
Go to the Doctor
Even if you don’t think you’re hurt, or hurt very badly, you should still see your doctor or go to urgent care. They can help you make sure you’re okay and identify hidden injuries that would cost you time and pain down the road.
Preserve the Evidence
After a crash, your medical bills, damaged vehicle, and physical injuries are all evidence that can support your case or insurance claim later. Keep your bills as organized as possible, and take photos of your injuries and damaged car. If you have questions about how to preserve the evidence, your lawyer should be able to help.
Call a Mississippi Car Crash Lawyer
After a crash, it can be hard to know what to do next or what your options are. When you contact a personal injury attorney, they can guide you through the process and help you understand your options and what to do next.
Need Help After a Mississippi Car Crash? The Andy Citrin Team Is Ready to Hear Your Story
At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, safety is our first priority. That’s why we created the Citrin Safety Foundation, and why we’re so proud of our law firm’s reputation as fighters for people hurt in terrible Mississippi car crashes.
If you or a loved one is suffering after a car crash that wasn’t your fault, you may be able to recover the costs of your medical bills, lost wages, damaged property, emotional stress, and more. To find out the true value of your case and your options after a crash, call our office at 228-888-8888 or fill out this simple online contact form and schedule a free consultation with our team of car accident lawyers.
Campbell, L. (2018, July 3). Why Mississippi is the deadliest place to drive a car. Mississippi Today. Retrieved from https://mississippitoday.org/2018/07/03/why-mississippi-is-the-deadliest-place-to-drive-a-car/
Facts and stats. (n.d.) Mississippi Department of Transportation. Retrieved from https://mdot.ms.gov/safetyeducation/parents/facts-and-stats/
Fatality facts 2018: State by state. (2019, December). Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Retrieved from https://www.iihs.org/topics/fatality-statistics/detail/state-by-state
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.