Everything You Need to Know about Texting Laws in Mississippi (House Bill 389)

Life seemingly gets more and more complicated all the time. Although technology has in countless ways made life simpler, it also has increased the number of tasks we can tackle and perform from just about anywhere. Where once a car drive was a means only to get from Point A to Point B, cell phones now permit an opportunity to do business, check on the family via Facetime or Skype, or simply keep up with social media while traveling. This has created a very significant danger for the distracted Jackson Mississippi driver who attempts to do these things while driving or stopped at a stop sign or light. It is important to follow the state texting laws in order to keep yourself and others safe while on the road.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 10% of serious or fatal incidents and 17% of minor injuries that occurred in an accident happened because the driver was distracted. In fact, in 2011, 3,331 people died due to distracted driving.

Distracted Driving

These statistics make it clear that Mississippi, as well as other states throughout our country, have to take action against distracted driving. After all, they realize that distracted driving is the leading cause of traffic collisions. As the name implies, distracted driving is any activity or behavior that displaces the attention of the driver of a motor vehicle from the act of driving. Some examples of distracted driving include eating while driving, interacting with other people in the car, or changing the audio reception. However, by far, the single most dangerous form of distracted driving involves texting.

The Unique Dangers of Texting 

Those who study distracted driving report there are three separate and distinct ways in which a driver’s attention may be diverted from driving:

  • A distraction that takes the driver’s eyes off the road
  • A distraction that takes the driver’s hands off the vehicle’s controls
  • A distraction that takes the driver’s mind away from the task of driving

If you consider what you do in noticing the receipt of a text, reading it, and responding, you will clearly see texting involves all three dangers.

Mississippi Texting Laws

Unlike many other states, Mississippi has no restrictions on cell phone use while driving, unless you’re a bus driver. If you’re a bus driver, then you are prohibited from using any handheld mobile telephone or portable electronic device to talk to someone while driving. Mississippi also prohibits all drivers from reading, writing, or sending a text message while driving. Furthermore, they also prohibit drivers from accessing, reading, or posting to a social media site while driving.

The penalty for violating texting laws has a minimum fine of $100 for first-time offenders and more for second, third, or other offenses. However, based on the facts and circumstances of the situation, the Jackson Mississippi driver may face far more serious consequences than a simple fine.

Seek the Advice of a Jackson Mississippi Attorney

If you have been charged with texting while driving or posting on social media and the result is serious property damage or worse, perhaps bodily injury or death to another person, you will need the expertise of skilled counsel, like the ones at Diaz Law firm to help you navigate through the legal process. These Jackson Mississippi attorneys have experience handling these types of cases and are well-versed in laws. They can also provide you with information on the legal process if you’re caught texting while driving. They can advise you about reckless driving or vehicular manslaughter charges, describe the harsh penalties or fines you might receive if found guilty and help you defend your case. When you’re caught texting or posting to social media, there is a very real danger of losing your driver’s license, being heavily fined, and possibly receiving jail time. Therefore, it makes sense to contact a lawyer who can advocate on your behalf to achieve the best possible result for your case.

In conclusion, don’t text or post to social media while driving. Safety should always be your primary concern while driving. Any message received or sent is simply not worth hurting yourself or someone else. You can simply read and post once you’re safe and off the road – distracted distractions are preventable!