Recently the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety released the 2017 Road-map of State Highway Safety Laws. In 2015, over 35,000 people were killed in the United States from motor vehicle crashes. This is the largest percentage increase in nearly 50 years. Early data that is still coming in from 2016 is even worse. Data from 2015 shows increases in every category, including unbelted occupants, motorcyclists, pedestrians, teen drivers, impaired and distracted drivers, and children. These numbers are very alarming and unacceptable.
The problem is very clear; too many lives are lost, serious injuries sustained and needless costs incurred because of motor vehicle crashes. But there are clear solutions out there. Working together to stem the growing death and injury toll, as well as traffic safety laws that must be adopted.
Many states, including our own state of Mississippi, are lacking too many safety laws and this is contributing to the problem. State laws will save lives and spare families the loss of loved ones. We know what needs to be done – enact State laws, especially in Mississippi, to require occupants of vehicles to buckle up in every seating position, motorcyclists to always wear a helmet, children to be seated in age appropriate child restraints, new teen drivers to gain necessary experience behind the wheel, and to address impaired and distracted driving.
Among the States missing traffic safety laws, Mississippi is missing rear primary enforcement seat belt law, booster seat law, open container law, and also 6 of the 7 teen driving provisions. Those 6 are minimum age of 16 for learner’s permit, supervised driving requirement, stronger night time restriction, passenger restriction, cell phone restriction, age 18 for unrestricted license. This ranks Mississippi as one of the worst states in safety laws.
Mississippi had 677 vehicle fatalities for the year 2015 and even higher from what we know of 2016 so far. Mississippi had a 10 year fatality total of 7,959. Annual economic cost due to motor vehicle crashes for Mississippi is at $2.718 Billion dollars.
We need legislative action and not legislative amnesia to solve this public health epidemic. More and more roadside memorials such as the picture above are becoming all too common.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact the attorneys at Chhabra & Gibbs, P.A. by calling us at 601-948-8005 or by going to our website.