No matter where you are going when you are driving your car, you must always take precautionary measures to stay safe on the road. If live or work here in Mississippi, though, you have to take more precautions than most. More vehicle accidents occur in Mississippi than almost anywhere else in the United States.
One of the primary reasons why accidents happen in our state more than other areas is the percentage of rural roads. When you are driving in the city, you have a lot of streetlights (and ambient light from buildings), traffic signals, and road signs to guide you. Because Mississippi is so rural, there are fewer lights on the roads, and those roads are less likely to be paved. This is especially dangerous after storms, which can wash out parts of the roads we travel.
Rural roads also tend to have higher speed limits, and faster cars are harder to control. You are more likely to see cars move into oncoming traffic when they take the curves, which puts everyone at risk.
Another reason it is more dangerous to drive in Mississippi is the lack of easy access to hospitals. It can take a while for medical personnel to transport an accident victim from a rural area to the hospital. In cases where victims sustained serious or life-threatening injuries, this extra time in transport could be the difference between life and death.
What can drivers do to protect themselves?
Drivers can and should take several precautionary steps to protect themselves while out on the roads in Mississippi. The easiest thing you can do to protect yourself is buckle up. Our state has some of the highest fatality rates related to not wearing a seat belt; you could save your life by wearing yours.
The second most important thing you can do is turn your phone off in the car – or, at least, set it to “do not disturb” or “driving mode.” This way, all notifications and text messages will be put on hold until you are out of the car, and you can prevent yourself from using the phone while you drive, too.
Finally, make sure to keep to the speed limits, go slowly around curves, and turn your lights on when it rains, so that the rural roads are illuminated, and so other cars can see you more easily.
Did you get in an accident while driving in the state of Mississippi? You may be entitled to compensation for your losses. The Mississippi car accident lawyers of Merkel & Cocke, P.A. can help. Please call us at 662-799-1633 or complete a contact form to schedule a consultation. The law firm assists clients that have been in accidents in Oxford, Clarksdale, Jackson, and throughout the state.