Indiana’s laws on ‘driving and cell phone use’ may soon change

If Governor Eric Holcomb has his way, Indiana will soon enact an amendment to the current law that places a complete ban on cell phone use while driving a vehicle.

Our feelings about the proposed amendment? It is about time!

Countless studies, serious accidents, and the ongoing loss of life have proven beyond a doubt that distracted driving remains the biggest threat to Indiana’s roadway safety. It only seems logical that cell phone use is termed illegal while operating a vehicle, just the same as driving while intoxicated.

Indiana’s cell phone laws

Currently, all Indiana drivers are banned from texting while driving, but the law does not ban drivers from any other phone use, including posting to social media, etc. How does this even make sense? Whether it is a legal loophole or a matter of laws catching up with technology and social trends, the existing law largely contradicts itself.

Additionally, enforcing the current texting and driving law has been a challenge for law officials, as it is difficult for them to determine if a person is texting or on the web.

Another component of the existing law currently bans any and all use of a cell phone for drivers under the age of 18.

The new law, if passed, would still allow for drivers to use their phones to make calls, etc., however, it would require that that the actions be performed hands-free.

The following states have placed a total ban on all hand-held devices while operating a vehicle:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Minnesota
  • Maryland
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Tenessee
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • West Virginia

Cell and smartphone crash statistics

There is no question that using a cell phone while driving greatly increases the likelihood that a driver will be involved in or cause a car accident, however, when we take a closer look at statistics this grim reality is truly solidified:

  • The National Safety Council reports that nearly 30% (or approximately 1.6 million) auto accidents occur annually due to cell or smartphone use.
  • Each year texting and driving is responsible for approximately 390,000 injuries related to auto accidents.
  • Texting and driving is deemed to be a culprit in 1 out of 4 auto accidents that occur in the United States.
  • Each day in the United States, 9 people lose their lives and approximately 1,000 are injured due to distracted driving.
  • People believe answering a text only takes a second. Actually, if you are traveling at 55 mph and you take your eyes off the road for five seconds to look at your phone, you will have traveled (blindly!) the entire length of a football field.
  • Texting while driving leads to a 400% increase in time spent with a person’s eyes and attention off the road.
  • Texting and driving has been reported to largely be the most dangerous and risky act one can perform while behind the wheel of an automobile.

Looking at these numbers, it becomes apparent that a strict ban on cell phone use is the logical step to improve highway safety. However, whether Indiana will pass the amendment to ban cell phone use remains to be seen.

Injured by a distracted driver?

If you or a loved one were injured by someone who was using their cell phone at the time of the collision, you likely have the right to seek compensation. It is important that you speak to an experienced Indianapolis personal injury lawyer who can properly investigate the accident and request cell phone records that will enhance or prove your potential case.

Attorney Matt Boulton has more than 20 years’ experience helping accident victims throughout Indiana recover compensation for their injuries. Every accident client at Boulton Law Group is given a Zero Fee Guarantee. This means that you will never pay for a consultation, and the only way the firm receives payment is after we win your case.

To speak to attorney Boulton today, call 317-350-2680. If you prefer to write to us with your story, please use our free and confidential contact form.

Our award-winning Indiana firm looks forward to going to work for you!

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