Getting a driver’s license is a privilege, not a right. As such, all motorists have certain responsibilities behind the wheel and laws that they should know. Whether you are a newly licensed driver or have years of experience under your belt, this is a great opportunity to review some of the rules of the road.
Laws For A Driver In Mississippi
Below, our Mississippi car accident attorneys discuss four laws that apply to all drivers in The Magnolia State!
1. Seat Belts Are Required For Drivers And Passengers
It’s a well-known fact that seat belts save lives. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), seat belts saved an estimated 14,955 lives in 2017. Additionally, another 2,549 lives could have been saved if everyone wore seat belts. In 2017, a new seat belt law in Mississippi now requires seat belt usage for all people in a vehicle, front and back seat.
This law applies to those traveling on a public road, street, or highway and essentially bans people from riding in the bed of a pickup truck. Additionally, young children are required to be secured in certain safety seats, depending on their age, weight, and height. You can read more about those requirements on our blog.
2. Distracted Driving Is Illegal
Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of fatal car accidents in the U.S. Fortunately, to reduce the number of distracted driving-related wrecks, the state of Mississippi has implemented laws that prohibit motorists from using a portable handheld device to:
- Write, send, or read a text message, or;
- Access, read, or post to a social network site.
For the purpose of this law, a “text message” also includes instant messages and emails. It’s important to note that there are a few exceptions to this law, which include hands-free or voice-operated devices, emergency/traffic/weather alerts, or navigational messages.
3. Two Drivers May Be Liable For A Crash
Negligence can be a confusing legal concept, but it essentially means that a person acted with carelessness and their actions led to harm of another person, thus making them liable for the harm. In Mississippi, there can be more than one driver who is found to be liable in the event of a car accident.
According to Mississippi’s pure comparative negligence law, each person involved in an auto accident will be investigated and potentially assigned a percentage of fault for the crash. This means that you may be assigned 25% of fault for the crash, however, you may still pursue a claim for your losses. Your compensation will just be reduced by the percentage of fault you were assigned.
Additionally, in states like Mississippi with a “pure” comparative negligence rule, a claimant can still file a claim even if they were found to have been 99% responsible for the crash. The law states that they may recover damages for the remaining 1% that the other driver was at fault.
5. Every Driver in Mississippi Must Have Insurance
Car insurance protects you and others from financial losses in the event of an unexpected accident. Depending on the type of policy a driver has, they can be reimbursed for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, rental car fees, and more. In Mississippi, all drivers are required to have the minimum coverage of:
- $25,000 in liability insurance for bodily injury or death of one person in an accident caused by the owner/driver of the insured vehicle.
- $50,000 liability coverage for total bodily injury or death liability in an accident caused by the owner/driver of the insured vehicle.
- $25,000 liability coverage for property damage per accident caused by the owner/driver of the insured vehicle.
At Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman PLLC, our team is committed to helping drivers like you stay safe while driving in Mississippi. Additionally, should you be involved in a car accident and need assistance filing a claim, please know that we are here to help you. With over 100 years of collective experience, we have the knowledge, skills, and tenacity needed to obtain a favorable outcome on your behalf.
We will fight for maximum compensation on your behalf. Contact us to get started with a no-fee, no-obligation consultation today!