Everything You Need to Know About Mississippi’s Texting and Driving Laws

Texting and driving in Mississippi carries a fine of $100 to $500 depending on your driver’s license and up to $1000 in fines if it causes an accident.
Written by Brittni Brinn
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
In
Mississippi
, texting and driving is no small matter—if you’re caught texting and driving, you could be fined $100 for distracted driving. Minors, bus drivers, and people with learner’s licenses will face a $500 fine for texting and driving. For accidents resulting in injury where texting and driving was a contributing factor, the guilty driver will have to pay fines of up to $1000.
The Mississippi State Department of Health reports that distracted driving causes over 3,000 deaths every year. To help reduce this sobering statistic, Mississippi became the 45th state to pass a
texting and driving law
in 2014. Since 2016, fines for texting and driving have significantly increased in hopes of making Mississippi roads safer for everyone.
This article has everything you need to know about texting and driving laws in Mississippi. By driving safely, you can avoid the penalties that result from distracted driving.
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What are the texting and driving laws in Mississippi?

Texting and driving is a primary offense in Mississippi and carries heavy fines. Texting includes anything from responding to an email to posting a photo on Instagram—any action that involves using a hand-held device is considered texting and driving.
Some drivers have further restrictions on cell phone use while driving. Bus drivers are not allowed to use cell phones in any way while driving. Minors and learning drivers are also not permitted to use their cell phones when they’re driving, even for making calls.
Texting and driving is a type of
distracted driving
. Distracted driving is the umbrella term for different traffic infractions and splits the type of distraction into three main categories:
  • Visual: Paying attention to something else instead of keeping your eyes on the road
  • Manual: Removing your hands from the wheel to do something else
  • Cognitive: Something that takes your mind off of driving
Mississippi has the highest rate of collision fatalities in America. It also has the highest rate of people who text and drive—46% of drivers in Mississippi admitted to texting while driving. To help reduce both of these rates, the state has increased fines for texting and driving to keep drivers focused on the road instead of their phones.

What are the penalties for texting and driving in Mississippi?

A texting and driving citation will require you to pay a fine anywhere from $100 to $1000 depending on the circumstances of the infraction.
For adult drivers, texting and driving will land you with a $100 fine. For new drivers, minors, and bus drivers, a texting and driving ticket will cost you $500. If your case of distracted driving results in damage or injury, you could be facing up to $1000 in fines.
Check out the table below for details about the different kinds of texting and driving infractions, and the associated penalties.
Driver type
Result
Fine
Other Penalties
Adult
No damage
$100
None
Minor/Learner’s license
No damage
$500
None
Bus driver
No damage
$500
None
All drivers
Accident causing injury
$1000
None
All drivers
Accident causing serious property damage, injury, or death
$1000
License suspension; additional charges of reckless driving and/or vehicular manslaughter
Mississippi doesn’t use a driver’s point system, but if your texting and driving charge is upped to a
reckless driving
charge, your license could be suspended. This also goes for cases where texting and driving results in property damage, injury, or death.
As you can see, texting and driving is never worth the penalties. You can’t control what the outcome of texting and driving may be, so it’s better not to tempt fate. If you need to, turn off your phone or set it to “do not disturb” while driving to keep your focus on the road.

Are there exceptions to Mississippi’s texting and driving laws?

Texting and driving is illegal in Mississippi; however, you can still use your phone for the following purposes:
  • Making or receiving phone calls
  • Talking on the phone
  • Hands-free or voice-operated use
  • Weather or traffic alerts
  • Navigation
  • Emergency situations
Note that bus drivers and minors are not allowed to use cell phones for calls while driving. And remember: you can always pull over if you need to text or message someone.

Are there special rules for texting and driving for younger drivers?

Minors and drivers with learner’s licenses face stricter penalties than the average driver in Mississippi. Younger drivers charged with texting and driving will have to pay $500 in fines. There are also additional restrictions on phone use for younger drivers.
Key Takeaway There are plenty of ways to avoid a texting and driving citation: turn off your phone or set it to “do not disturb,” use your phone’s hands-free features, or pull over when you’re using your cell phone.

Can texting and driving make my insurance go up?

Texting and driving will absolutely increase your insurance rates.
In Mississippi, the average insurance plan will cost you $1,575 per year. After a texting and driving citation, your yearly insurance rates will increase to about $1,877 per year. That’s 19% higher than what you’d normally pay for your insurance.
Although it may not seem like much, an average increase of $302 per year on your car insurance adds up. Increased insurance rates plus the fine you’ll have to pay for texting and driving makes this citation quite an expensive one. By avoiding texting and driving, you can avoid the hit to your wallet as well.
With features like voice-to-text and hands-free operation, using a cell phone while you’re driving doesn’t have to be distracting. Keeping your phone usage to voice calls and essential functions, like traffic and weather alerts, will keep your driving record clean and your insurance rates low. 
Not only that, by choosing to use your phone safely—or even not at all—while you’re driving, you make the roads safer for everyone—yourself included!

How to save money on your car insurance in Mississippi

If you have a texting and driving citation on your record, you can still find affordable insurance.
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FAQs

No. At most, you’ll have to pay a maximum fine of $1000 for texting and driving. However, if someone is seriously injured or killed as a result of texting and driving, the charge may be raised to reckless driving or even vehicular manslaughter—and you will be penalized accordingly.
A texting and driving ticket will affect your insurance rates and will show up on your driving record. You’ll have to pay a fine for texting and driving. If it causes an accident or if you have multiple texting and driving citations, you could be looking at more serious penalties.
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