Fatal collisions can be prevented

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, July 18, 2018

According to estimates from the National Safety Council, in 2017 a total of 40,100 deaths occurred as a result of motor vehicle collisions nationwide, increasing six percent from 2015.

A survey conducted by the NSC in 2017 indicated that about 64 percent of drivers are comfortable with exceeding the speed limit, 47 percent send or receive text messages manually or through voice commands while driving, 13 percent admitted to driving while under the influence of marijuana and about 10 percent admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol.

“About 4.57 million people were injured seriously enough to require medical attention in motor vehicle crashes in 2017, and costs to society totaled $413.8 billion,” the NSC report states.

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In Mississippi some of the leading factors in a vehicle collision include alcohol, fatigue, inexperienced drivers such as teens, distraction and speed, another report by the NSC states.

Mississippi Highway Patrol Information Officer Chase Elkins said that in 2017 five fatalities were worked by MHP troopers in Pearl River County. So far this year, four vehicle-related deaths were worked by troopers in this county, he said.

Elkins said 31 percent of vehicle-related fatalities are the result of speeding, he said.

Anyone who has been drinking should designate someone to drive for them. Elkins said that collisions can be reduced by not texting while driving and paying attention to the road, he said.

Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Shane Tucker said deputies worked three vehicle related fatalities on county roads in 2017. This year, two deaths due to vehicle collisions were reported, he said.

Tucker said the leading cause of traffic collisions is impairment due to drug or alcohol use. He cautions drivers to not get behind the wheel while under the influence.

“Fatal or not they are costly. You could end up with a life-long injury or injure somebody else, which is more irresponsible,” Tucker said.

Within the city of Picayune, one fatality due to a traffic fatality occurred in the city limits last year. None have been reported so far this year, Assistant Chief of Police Jeremy Magri said.

Poplarville Police Chief Butch Raby said although no vehicle fatalities were reported in the county seat last year, two fatalities were reported this year. He urges drivers to be mindful of their speed and drive slower during inclement weather conditions.