A recent study revealed that Mississippi is the deadliest state for fatal car crashes and a recent accident contributes to why this statistic now exists. On May 18th, just a day after the Forrest County Agricultural High School (FCAHS) held its graduation ceremony, a teen who had just received her diploma, was involved in a fatal car crash. WDAM reported that the evening before the accident, 18-year-old Savannah Gibson had just crossed the stage, received her diploma, and was headed toward success but her journey was cut short the next day at around 9:00 a.m.
The source said that Gibson was driving on Highway 13 when she swerved into the lane of an 18-wheeler tanker and hit the truck. The truck driver told news sources that “it happened so fast” and that he “had nowhere to go.” He also has been driving for 40 years and said this was his first major crash. The tanker was carrying liquid asphalt at the time of the accident and the impact alone caused the teen to die.
The collision had the roadway closed for hours as crews worked to clear the scene and the debris that was scattered across the roadway. FCAHS Superintendent Dr. Donna Boone issued a statement shortly after the accident informing the community that FCAHS will have grief counseling support available to students and staff members who need someone to talk to regarding the tragic accident.
The fact is, no family should ever have to experience such a tragedy, but with fatal crashes on the rise in Mississippi, now is the time to speak with teens and discuss roadway safety. And with summer quickly approaching, the time to talk is now. The National Road Safety Foundation highlighted that teen traffic deaths double during the summer months so some of the things you will want to discuss with your teens include:
- Piling in cars– Teens should never pile friends into their vehicle as this will only increase the level of distraction for them.
- Nighttime driving- Because the chances of an accident occurring at night increase dramatically, especially hit-and-run accidents, it is important for teens to be extra careful during these times.
- Tailgating– When a driver tailgates, they put themselves, their passengers, and the other motorists around them at risk of getting injured in an accident. The fact is, when a driver is traveling too close to another vehicle, they reduce the amount of time they have to stop if traffic happens to slow or even stop abruptly.
- Distractions– Remind your teens to avoid using their cell phone while driving. They should always have their eyes on the roadway at all times and their hands on the wheel.
- Speeding- All roadways have set speed limits, and for good reason. Encourage your teen to follow the speed limit signs and adjust their speed based on the flow of traffic.
- Drowsiness– Remind your teen to always get plenty of rest and never drive drowsy. Teens who are entering college in the summer months may be taking a full load of classes and aren’t yet used to the workload associated with taking college-level courses. This, in turn, might result in them becoming more tired and they shouldn’t be driving under these conditions.
- Reiterate to your teen that they should never drink or use substances that can impair their judgement while driving.
If your teen was involved in an accident in Madison where they suffered minor or severe injuries, you are encouraged to contact Ballard Law, PLLC and speak with a Madison, MS personal injury lawyer who can help seek a recovery for the injuries they have sustained. Although compensation won’t change the outcome of the accident, it can help you and your teen get through this troubling time.
You can reach Ballard Law, PLLC. at:
108 S. President Street
Jackson, MS 39201