Accidents are frustrating enough on their own, but when they occur at the hands of an irresponsible driver, they only make matters more difficult. In today’s technologically-driven society, the nation is largely becoming unobservant due to the alluring appeal of cell phones and other gadgets. All of these advancements are, indeed, a step forward — but not in regards to their ability to distract consumers. An alarming number of Mississippi drivers have already been affected by this societal shift in awareness, many of whom are suffering from damages due to the poor driving of others.
Icebike, a resource for cyclists of all types, notes the frightening statistic that over 3,000 people die as a result of road accidents every day. Mobile devices do not improve that statistic, either: in an age of technology, more and more drivers are compelled to text while operating their vehicles. In the U.S. alone, over 1.6 million accidents involve cell phones. And young drivers are not the only ones to blame; Icebike considers parental influence to be a major contributor in this issue. A large majority of drivers also claim some texts are simply too important to ignore, but that argument is clearly without foundation.
According to an article from The Clarion Ledger published earlier this year, some Mississippi officials are working to address the issue of distracted driving-related accidents. The Ledger shares that some from the Mississippi Highway Patrol find complications with the state’s preexisting texting law, claiming that penalties should be harsher. The current law, which took effect in July 2015, typically only results in a minor ticket for careless driving. However, the passing of House Bill 389 confirmed the increase from a $25 fine for texting and driving to $100 fine. Many officials complain that, because some officers have to drive out of their way to issue a texting and driving ticket, they will lower the fine to a careless driving citation. It appears that the entire community — both officials and everyday drivers — must work together to put an end to this deadly problem.