Mississippi's death rate of 82 per 100,000 people due to injuries, both intentional and unintentional, greatly exceeds the national rate of 62 per 100,000. Despite evidence that most injuries are preventable, they continue to constitute one of the most tragic and costly public health problems to date. In the United States, nearly 192,900 people die from violence and injuries each year. More than 3 million people are hospitalized and 27 million people treated in emergency rooms as a result of violence and injuries each year.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [online] (2011) [accessed 2014 Jul 11]. Available from URL: www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/.
Motor Vehicle Safety
Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of injury-related deaths in the state, and Mississippi has one of the highest per-capita motor vehicle fatality rates in the nation. The Division of Injury and Violence Prevention works collaboratively with the following agencies and other interested parties to promote safety for drivers and passengers in motor vehicles:
- Mississippi Department of Public Safety
- Mississippi Department of Transportation
- Safe Kids Mississippi Coalition
Data source: CDC Mortality File 1999-2011
Car Seats and Child Safety
The Division of Injury and Violence Prevention is currently working to increase education and awareness regarding child passenger safety, including car seat use and information about the Booster Seat Law in Mississippi.
Cell phone use has been directly linked to increased risk while operating a motor vehicle. Driver distraction is involved in 16 percent of fatal crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Our phone-free driving tips can help you make the road safer for you and others.
Child Passenger Safety Program
Riding unrestrained is the greatest risk factor for death and injury among child occupants in motor vehicle crashes. According to the Mississippi Department of Public Safety in 2012, thirty-two children under the age of 16 who died in a motor vehicle crash were riding unrestrained. The risk of serious injury and death in a crash can be reduced by half if adults properly buckle children into age and size appropriate car seats and booster seats. The deaths due to motor vehicle crashes will be significantly reduced if Mississippi adults properly restrain their children and themselves when riding in a vehicle.
The Mississippi State Department of Health recognizes the severity of this problem and offers instruction on proper installation and use of child restraints. Mississippi now has over 300 certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians across the state. These technicians are trained to check the child restraints to ensure they fit the child properly, are installed correctly inside the vehicle, and are not damaged or expired.
Getting a child safety seat
For those in financial need, a limited number of child safety seats are also available to Mississippi residents with small children. To verify your eligibility and obtain a child safety seat please complete the Occupant Protection Program Referral Form.
Booster seat law
In 2008, a primary Booster Seat Law was passed in Mississippi. Children under the age of 7 years are now required to ride in a properly-fitting child restraint at all times.
More child safety topics
Pedestrian & Bicycle Safety
Pedestrian and bicycle safety activities are held in locations across Mississippi. MSDH staff conduct bicycle rodeos, classroom presentations, and community presentations where bicycle helmets (subject to availability) and safety information is distributed. MSDH partners with the Mississippi Department of Transportation.
The MSDH Fire-Related Injury Prevention Program offers fire prevention and safety presentations and participates in planning safety events for schools. To contact program staff, call (601) 206-1559. The Mississippi State Fire Marshal offers free smoke alarm installation in your home for selected counties in the state. To find out if you qualify, visit the State Fire Marshal's web site.
- Keeping your home safe from fires
- Home Fire Drill information from homefiredrill.org
- U.S. Fire Administration
When the weather gets hot, it's natural to want to be in or near the water to stay cool. But along with water fun, there are safety precautions that need to be taken when enjoying swimming pools, hot tubs or recreational boating.
The Division of Injury and Violence Prevention at the Mississippi State Department of Health is continuously working to build the infrastructure necessary to address all areas of injury prevention. A state plan is currently being developed to guide the Division in its efforts to reduce the burden of injury in Mississippi. For more information, please contact the Office of Preventive Health at (601) 206-1559.
For more information about the Division of Injury and Violence Prevention, or one of its programs, please contact:
The Division of Injury and Violence Prevention
Mississippi State Department of Health
715 Pear Orchard Road-Plaza 1
Post Office Box 1700
Jackson, MS 39216