There is a fine line between the definitions of distracted driving and reckless driving. Just one minor lapse in judgement could result in a tragic motor vehicle accident, which could ultimately result in injuries and even fatalities. In Mississippi, reckless driving constitutes as not only a traffic violation, but a criminal charge. Drivers caught operating a vehicle while displaying reckless behavior could face hefty fines and even jail time. Yet on a larger scale, Mississippi is hardly the state with the most reckless driver-related incidents.
According to the Mississippi Department of Transportation, the state saw 170 deaths caused by motor vehicle accidents between the years 2010 and 2012 — all of whom were teenagers. Although young drivers are the least likely to wear seatbelts while driving, thousands of drivers of all ages are involved in crashes due to other reasons. On a national level, MDOT reports that thousands of drivers die from crashes related to distracted driving, and that even talking while driving can prevent a driver from seeing 50 percent of their surrounding environment (a phenomenon known as “attention blindness”). While reckless driving inevitably poses a higher risk of accidents, small tasks such as eating or talking while driving can cause a driver to operate their vehicle in a dangerous manner.
There may be a moderate number of reckless driving incidents in Mississippi, but which areas of the country experience the most reckless driving-related crashes? Forbes points toward highly-trafficked cities in California, Florida and the Northeastern states as having the highest number of reckless drivers. On the other hand, cities such as Fort Collins, Colorado and Boise, Idaho are among the safest driving areas. Safety experts warn the public of dense cities, and encourages all drivers to carefully plan trips, maintain alertness on the road at all times and strategize the most efficient course of travel possible.