2015 Mississippi Bicycle Accident Statistics
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that of the 677 people who died in traffic-related accidents on Mississippi roads during 2015, five (5) of those deaths were related to pedalcyclist accidents. This places bicycle accidents as contributing to 0.07 percent of the overall accident fatalities for that year.
In prior years, the Mississippi Department of Transportation (DOT) reports that almost one-fourth of the riders injured in bicycle crashes were 14 years of age or younger. However, the highest injury rate was for riders between the ages of 10 to 15 years.
The DOT reminds riders and motorists that bicyclists are considered vehicle operators who must obey the same traffic laws but also have the same rights as all other motorists. Motorists are advised to keep at least three feet of clearance whenever passing a cyclist.
Bicycle Helmet Laws in Mississippi
Mississippi does not have a bicycle helmet law. However, you should check with your local officials to determine if any local laws require bicycle helmets for minors.
The “Three Feet Rule” In Mississippi
The 3-feet rule was enacted to help protect bicyclists on the road from being injured when a vehicle collides with the rider while attempting to pass the bicyclist. The law is part of the John Paul Frerer Bicycle Safety Act. MS Code § 63-3-1309 (2016) states that a driver must maintain a safe distance of no less than three feet between the motor vehicle and a bicyclist when passing the rider on a roadway. The 3-foot rule remains in effect until the motorist has safely passed the bicycle.
Mississippi Bicycle and Pedestrian Program
MDOT seeks to provide a safe network for intermodal transportation throughout the state. On the program’s web page, cyclists and pedestrians can find information and resources about the state’s efforts to improve bicycle safety, general information about the benefits of walking and biking, a summary of the bicycle laws, and safety tips. The MDOT also provides a Bicycling Guide that includes a map of the state’s bicycle routes, bicycle-friendly communities, State Parks, and National Forests.