New website designed to curb Miss. traffic deaths

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Mississippi Drive SmartA new website has been created to try to reduce the rising number of traffic fatalities in Mississippi, especially in work zones.

The site,, comes in response to a 14-percent increase in road deaths in the state during the past three years, according to the Mississippi Department of Transportation.

“MDOT has a goal of zero traffic deaths on Mississippi highways,” said Melinda McGrath, MDOT executive director. “DriveSmartMS is a resource for the traveling public aimed at increasing awareness and safety.”

The site features videos to teach drivers how to navigate work zones and intersections, as well as other safety tips.

In 2016, 690 people died in traffic incidents in Mississippi. In the past three years, 20 deaths – three of which were highway workers – occurred in work zones.

MDOT urges drivers to pay attention, especially in work zones. It notes that nationwide, 94 percent of crashes are due to human error. Rear-end crashes are the most common traffic accident in work zones.

“When entering a work zone, slow down and pay attention,” McGrath says. “Drivers play a vital role in improving work zone safety and moving Mississippi toward zero deaths on highways.”