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. It also differentiates between drivers 18 years and older.
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 (NSC). No call or text is worth the risk.
Novice Drivers Must Follow Indiana Cell Phone Laws
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 being involved in a car accident.
Indiana Laws on Texting and Driving
Texting and driving seems to be on the rise. In 2011, 23% of auto accidents involved the usage of a cell phone, according to textinganddrivingsafety.com. Many states have introduced new laws, including Indiana.
Due to a texting and driving statewide law, effective since July 2011, it’s 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 disregard the ban can face fines of up to $500.
Distracted Driving Puts All Lives at Risk
Texting and driving isn’t the only issue. Smartphones allow drivers to perform multiple tasks while driving, whether that is reading or sending emails, reading websites, or even making a phone call. These activities take your eyes away from the road and put you at a higher risk of running a red light, missing a stop sign, or not seeing someone braking in front of you.
All these situations pose potential threats to you and others on the roadway and increase your chances of being involved in a car accident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that in 2010, over 3,000 people were killed in distracted driving accidents.
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.
Complying With Indiana’s Ban on Cell Phone Use While Driving
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.
In order to avoid a traffic accident, just let that text wait until you make it to your destination. You might be surprised at the number of deaths that arise every year from auto accidents and the use of a handheld device.
We have all seen our friends, parents, and even our children paying more attention to their phone while driving rather than the road. It is very dangerous, and the outcome of an accident can be catastrophic. However, if you want to avoid getting a ticket, you should be aware of the risks of texting and driving. It isn’t worth risking your life to send that message.
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, some of which include:
- Property damage: For your car repair or replacement
- Medical bills: For your hospital stay, surgery, diagnostic exams, check-ups, medication, and medical devices
- Lost wages: For the time you missed at work
- Future lost earning potential: For your prolonged absence from work or your need to take a lower-paying job
- Pain and suffering: For the physical pain you’re enduring
- Mental anguish: For the emotional turmoil the accident has caused you
- Disability or disfigurement: For the change in your appearance and lack of mobility
- Wrongful death: For your late loved one’s medical bills, funeral costs, and other losses
If you want to file a lawsuit to recover these damages and others, Indiana Code § 34-11-2-4 sets the time limit at two years from the day of the accident or death. Failure to comply with this deadline could result in forfeiting your right to compensation, leaving you to pay for your damages. We can help make sure you submit your lawsuit on time.
Our Experts Can Help You Understand Indiana’s Cell Phone Law
The Indianapolis personal injury attorneys of Sevenish Law Firm, P.C. can assist you in your pursuit of justice. Contact our Indianapolis law office today for your free consultation or call us directly. We are available 24/7. You don’t pay us unless you win compensation.