Background: Mississippi enacted a texting/accessing social networking sites ban for all drivers in 2015; this ban is due for reauthorization in 2018. Purpose: Examine state policies prohibiting mobile device use while driving and changes in behaviors, attitudes, and opinions over time for Mississippi adults regarding distracted driving. Methods: Review literature and enacted policies. Analyze traffic, death, and survey data statewide from 2010 to 2017. Results: Mississippi’s crash death rate rose significantly (22.7 to 25.6 per 100,000; p < .01) from 2010 to 2015. Mississippi adults surveyed said they had talked on a mobile device (75.4%), texted (45.5%), or emailed (10.1%) while driving in 2017. Each reported risky driving behavior increased significantly (p < 0.05) from 2010. Most Mississippians support bans on texting (95%) and hand-held device use (89%) while driving. Support for these types of bans significantly (p < 0.05) increased from 2010 to 2017. Enacted policies vary among states and include mobile device use bans for novice drivers (n = 38) and texting (n = 47) and hand-held (n = 14) bans for all drivers. While safety campaigns coupled with aggressive enforcement are found effective, officials cite enforcement difficulties. Only three texting citations were issued to Mississippi drivers during 2016. Conclusions: Enforcement of policies addressing drivers’ mobile device use is a key factor to consider in reducing crash-related deaths.
"Policies on Hand-Held Mobile Device Use While Driving: Considerations for Mississippi,"
Journal of Public Health in the Deep South: Vol. 1:
1, Article 15.
Available at: https://scholarsjunction.msstate.edu/jphds/vol1/iss1/15