Two years ago, according to the IndyStar, a little-known law was passed in Indiana which banned drivers age 21 and under from using cell phones in the car. Many people were unaware that the bill included drivers 18 through 21 until the law was passed. Although the laws have not updated much since, it is important to know the exact laws for Indiana to stay out of trouble and to prevent accidents.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, distracted driving is a huge problem in the United States. From 2011 through 2013, accidents caused by distracted driving increased by 10 percent. Both federal and state lawmakers have begun to address this phenomenon, but drivers are the ones who really must take actions to prevent accidents.
What is the law in Indiana?
- Hand-held ban? No
- All cell phone ban? Drivers under 21
- Text message ban? All drivers
Federal law also applies to drivers in Indiana. Federal employees are prohibited from texting while driving when on government business. The Federal Railroad Administration also bans the use of cell phones and electronic devices on the job. Commercial vehicle drivers are also banned from texting while driving. Hand-held devices are also banned in commercial vehicles carrying hazardous materials.
Responding to the law
Although drivers over 21 are allowed to talk on the cell phone in the car, that does not mean you should talk on the cell phone when you are behind the wheel. It is safer to pull over and take a call or get a hands-free device that lets you answer a call without taking your hands off the wheel.
Distracted driving does not only occur when you are using your cell phone. You can be distracted by eating, taking a drink or even talking to a passenger. Distractions occur when you take your eyes off the road, take your hands off the wheel or take your mind off of your driving. Texting is one of the worst distractions because it involves all three types of distractions.
Know your responsibilities
Because Evansville is close to the state lines of Illinois and Kentucky, you should also be aware of laws in those states. Illinois has much stricter rules about cell phone use than Indiana does. If you have been injured in an accident and believe the driver was distracted, you should talk to an attorney about your rights for compensation. Take care of your medical bills and damage to your car by talking to a legal advocate about your options.