Statistics show that using a cell phone while driving can be exceptionally dangerous. The practice causes or contributes to 1.6 million crashes and thousands of personal injuries each year, according to the National Security Council. While no state has completely banned using cell phones behind the wheel, some states, including Indiana, restrict the use of cell phones and other telecommunication devices while driving in the interest of public safety.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), teen drivers are three times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash, per mile driven, than any other age group.
Indiana law prohibits drivers under the age of 18 from using cell phones or any type of electronic device behind the wheel—including hands-free devices—due to their inexperience and higher statistical probability of involvement in a car accident.
Texting and Driving: Not an Option
Due to a statewide law that went into effect in July 2011, it's also illegal for motorists of any age in Indiana to use cell phones or other telecommunication devices to type, transmit, or read a text message or email while driving. The law does allow motorists 18 and older to use a hands-free device behind the wheel. Drivers who run afoul of the ban can face fines of up to $500.
Text messaging or emailing while driving is considered especially dangerous, as it combines the three main types of distraction: visual, manual, and cognitive. The Indiana Department of Transportation reports that motorists who text and drive are 23 times more likely to get into an accident.
Additionally, both the prohibition against cell phone use by young drivers and the text messaging ban are considered “primary laws” in Indiana, meaning the police can stop motorists who break these laws even if they haven't witnessed them commit any other traffic infractions.
Were You Injured in an Accident?
If you or someone you love was hurt in an accident caused by a driver who was talking on a cell phone or texting behind the wheel, you may be eligible to seek compensation for injuries and other financial losses sustained in the crash. The personal injury attorneys of Sevenish Law Firm can assist you in your pursuit of justice. Contact our Indianapolis law office today by calling 800.278.9200 to schedule your free consultation.