The Dangers of Distracted Driving in Mississippi

distracted driving accident lawyerDetroit Lions wide receiver Nate Burleson was injured in a single car accident resulting in a broken arm, which will prevent him from playing football indefinitely.  The cause of this tragic accident: pizzas.  That’s right, Nate Burleson admits that he became distracted in the moments right before the accident.  Specifically, he drove onto the freeway and attempted to multitask, which he states he is the “king of.”  After plugging in his phone to the car charger, he noticed the boxes of pizza that he had sitting on the passenger seat had begun to slide.  He reached to save the two boxes of pizza.  At that moment, he drifted towards a vehicle in the next lane.  Realizing he might hit the car, Burleson attempted to correct the vehicle’s path, but ended up overcorrecting and hitting the center median.

Burleson, who admitted to frequently multitasking while driving, urged other drivers to learn from his mistakes.  Burleson is hopeful he will be able to return this season.  The wide receiver was on pace to achieve 101 catches and 1,275 yards, both of which would have been career highs.

Though Burleson’s car accident may cost him dearly professionally, he is no doubt thankful that the accident did not involve another vehicle, pedestrian, or more serious injuries.  Burleson is part of an ever increasing and highly troubling phenomenon known as distracted driving.  In 2011 alone, the Official U.S. Government Website for Distracted Driving reported that accidents involving distracted drivers killed 3,331 people and injured another 387,000.

Distracted driving is defined as the act of operating a motor vehicle while engaged in any activity that diverts the driver’s attention from driving.  Distractions can come from within the vehicle, such texting, making a phone call, eating, looking in the mirror, emailing, etc.  They can also stem from outside of the vehicle, such as taking your attention from the wheel to look at buildings, scenery, people, animals, or any other distracting sights.

Given the ever increasing number of deaths and injuries caused by distracted drivers, nearly every state in the U.S. is taking measures to crack down on distracted driving.  Most legislation of recent years has focused on the use of cell phones while driving and, more specifically, texting while driving.  Currently, 41 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam all ban texting while driving.  Eleven states and the District of Columbia prohibit drivers from using cell phones while driving.  Most of the remaining states have laws in place restricting texting while driving but not outright banning it.  Mississippi is one of these states.  In Mississippi, a school bus driver is banned from using his or her cell phone and from texting.  Further, novice drivers are prohibited from texting while driving.  A violation of these laws can result in criminal charges and fines in addition to consequences on your license.  If an injury occurs to a pedestrian or another driver due to your distracted driving, you could additionally be sued for damages.

Victims of distracted drivers have the right to file a suit for personal injuries.  Additionally, their family may file a wrongful death suit in the event the distracted driving accident proves fatal.  If you or a loved one has been killed or injured by a distracted driving, it is of the essence that you secure a knowledgeable personal injury attorney as soon as possible after the accident.  Those early days after the accident can be crucial for uncovering evidence in support of your case.  The Giddens Law Firm has vast amount of experience representing victims in personal injury suits against the distracted drivers that hit them.  We are a team of attorneys and investigators who will relentlessly fight for your recovery.  Call us today at 601-355-2022 for a free case analysis.