Indiana focuses on the use of mobile devices when it comes to distracted driving. Drivers who are caught using handheld mobile devices face fines and points on their license. Find out more about the laws for distracted driving in Indiana below.
Indiana’s Laws on Distracted Driving
Indiana established a hands-free driving law in 2020. The law focuses on the use of mobile devices while driving. The law applies to devices like cell phones, tablets, smart watches, and other electronics.
The law replaced an older regulation, set up in 2011, which only prohibited texting and driving. Under the new law, drivers cannot use a handheld mobile device in any way while behind the wheel. The law makes it illegal for drivers to:
- Read or send texts
- Read or reply to emails
- Make or answer a call while holding the phone
- Look up directions if they need to hold the phone
Essentially, drivers must use Bluetooth capability to use their mobile devices while driving. Breaking these regulations can lead to legal penalties.
What Is the Fine for Distracted Driving in Indiana?
Drivers who misuse their mobile devices commit a Class C infraction in Indiana. The amount for the fine may vary based on a driver’s past record and the circumstances around the mobile device usage. The state may charge up to $500, however.
In addition to facing a fine, drivers who use a hand-held mobile device while driving will have points added to their license, according to WFYI Indianapolis.
The Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) will add four points for each distracted driving violation. The BMV will suspend the licenses of drivers who accrue 20 points within a period of two years.
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Acceptable Ways to Use Mobile Devices in Indiana
Drivers can legally use mobile devices in some ways while driving under Indiana’s new law. Legally, drivers may make phone calls as long as they use a Bluetooth adapter for hands-free conversation. Drivers may only use their hands to call 9-1-1 while driving.
Drivers can use turn-by-turn directions as long as they use voice commands to activate the GPS feature. They may want to place their phone in a bracket or mount to easily see directions while driving.
How does Indiana Handle Other Forms of Distracted Driving?
Cell phone usage represents only one action that can distract drivers in Indiana. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drivers may also become distracted by:
- Eating or drinking
- Talking to passengers
- Changing their radio station
While these other forms of distraction can take a driver’s mind off of the road, making them more dangerous to other people and themselves, Indiana does not legally restrict other forms of distraction. The state only uses laws to penalize the usage of mobile devices.
While the state does not legally penalize other forms of distracted driving, a distracted driver who causes an accident can be held liable for any injuries and related losses.
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Dangers Associated with Distracted Driving in Indiana
Indiana set up laws to handle distracted driving because of the dangers associated with this behavior. Distracted drivers take their attention off of the road. There are three types of distraction drivers may face:
- Visual distraction if they look away from the road to read a message or check directions
- Cognitive distraction if they stop thinking about the road
- Manual distraction if they take their hands off of the wheel to type something on their phone
All forms of distraction increase the odds of a driver causing an accident. Distracted drivers may not notice traffic slowing down in front of them, cut across lanes without looking for other vehicles, or ignore stop signs and red lights.
These dangerous actions could easily lead to a collision. Texting and driving is such a focus for distracted driving laws because it involves all three types of distraction.
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Distracted Drivers and Liability for Accidents
Were you hurt in an accident caused by a distracted driver in Indianapolis? If so, you may want to reach out to a car accident lawyer for help building a claim. Distracted drivers often hold liability for accidents and may have to cover your:
- Medical expenses
- Vehicle repairs
- Lost wages and diminished earning potential
- Pain and suffering
Distracted driving accident lawyers understand how to gather evidence to establish that a driver was distracted and that the distraction caused them to take an action that led to the collision. Depending upon your situation, a lawyer could focus on settling your claim or helping you take your case to court.
Speak to Us After a Distracted Driving Accident in Indiana
You can secure legal assistance if a distracted driver struck your vehicle in Indiana. Our team at Sevenish Law Firm can step in to review your options. A car accident lawyer in Indianapolis from our firm will help you fight for compensation for your losses.
Find out more about the services we offer by calling us today.
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