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With millions being injured and thousands upon thousands being killed in vehicular accidents every year, it’s safe to say that one should be aware of the most common scenarios that lead to such tragedies so that they can be avoided. NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) data has shown that over 35,000 individuals died in vehicular accidents and 2,443,000 individuals were injured in recent years.

What is interesting about this data is that there’s a wide range of cases and situations that led to the accident. However, it should be mentioned that no matter what the cause of the accident may have been (or who was to blame), it’s necessary to speak with a skilled attorney to see what you may receive in compensation.

Vehicular Accidents in Mississippi

In Mississippi, there were roughly 26 deaths related to vehicular accidents for every 100,000 people (according to the news source Mississippi Today). Nationwide, that leaves Mississippi with the highest death rates in regards to vehicular accidents per capita. Considering that the national average is roughly 13 deaths out of 100,000 people and Mississippi’s death rate is five times higher than Washington’s (which is 5 deaths out of every 100,000 people), Mississippi drivers need to be on high alert when behind the wheel.

With the exception of three years, Mississippi has usually led the United States in vehicular fatalities every year since the late nineties. The CDC (the Centers for Disease Control) discovered that 14,786 individuals died in a vehicular accident in Mississippi from 1999 through 2016.

Now since these figures do not elaborate on why these numbers are significantly greater in Mississippi (in comparison to other states), we’re going to explain how and why such numbers existed in the first place.

Human Error & Vehicular Accidents

Simply put, many of these accidents happen due to human error. The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) has calculated that at least 94% of devastating accidents happen due to poor choices made by the drivers themselves. Leading causes of these vehicular accidents by individuals include:

  • Driving Under the Influence/Drunk Driving – Whether it be driving on drugs or driving under the influence, it’s a major problem on the road in Mississippi. The MDoT (Mississippi Department of Transportation) has reported that at least 18% of traffic deaths accounted for were due to drunk driving. In that same year, the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility noticed 128 drunk driving deaths caused by inebriated drivers. Since such statistics regarding impaired vehicle operation are difficult to find at a state level, there were at least 20% of all nighttime drivers on the weekend who tested positive for drugs (according to a NHTSA survey).
  • Driving While Distracted – Whether it be drinking, eating, talking to a passenger, adjusting music, taking a call, or texting while driving, it can easily become a problem with serious implications. For example: If one is driving at 55 mph, 5 seconds looking away from the road is enough time to drive from one end to the other of a football field. This is more than enough time for a horrendous accident to happen in such a short time frame. Sadly, such distracted driving is fairly common in Mississippi. According to the Department of Health, there are at least 75% of drivers who have admitted to making phone calls as they were driving. To make matters worse, at least one third of drivers admitted to sending, writing, or reading a text as they were driving. At a national level, it was discovered that 21% of drivers who were 15-19 years old (who had been in fatal accidents) happened to be distracted by a phone seconds before the accident.
  • Speeding – Everyone understands that speed limits exist for several different reasons. Between emergencies that can happen at any given moment or drivers who need the time/space to brake accordingly, speed limit postings exist solely for your protection and safety. If one is going too fast to avoid a hazard on the road, the driver may not know that such a hazard existed before colliding with it on the roadway. It was reported (by the Mississippi Office of Highway Safety) that an average of 103 deaths associated with speeding happened every year (which was recorded over a five-year stretch).
  • Driving Aggressively – Whether it be failing to utilize a turn signal, running a stop sign or red light, tailgating, or changing lanes unsafely, such aggressive driving behavior can put you (and others) at serious risk on the open road. Sadly, many drivers engage in such behaviors and end up finding themselves in accidents. Aggressive driving may be what’s to blame for at least 50% of accidents throughout the United States. Believe it or not, 40% of automobile accidents occur at intersections due to an individual ignoring a stop sign or red light (according to information gathered by the NHTSA).
  • Fatigued Driving – Driving while fatigued leads to individuals missing hazards (that would have been easily navigated if one were focused) make up a large portion of Mississippi accidents on the open road. In worst case scenarios, the driver may even fall asleep while driving and either drift into oncoming traffic or simply drive off of the road. Recently it was reported that in one year 795 individuals died due to driving while drowsy (according to NHTSA data).

Mechanical Failure and Accidents

In order to function properly, vehicles require thousands of parts to operate smoothly. So in the event that one of these parts fails or breaks, an accident is very likely. With vehicle manufacturers issuing recalls for a wide range of reasons, a part failure is more likely than one would assume.

Parts that tend to have a higher rate of failure include:

  • Breaks
  • Tires
  • Steering System
  • Suspension

So in consideration of the information above, there are plenty of reasons why one should be extra careful when driving in Mississippi. Thankfully, we’re here to do exactly that in the event you’re in an accident. Make sure to explore your legal options with car accident lawyers in Mississippi. Contact us today for further information!