Drivers reminded to stay focused and stay safe to prevent crashes
Despite tougher laws and stricter enforcement measures, the issue of distracted driving accidents in Indiana remains a serious concern. As a result, law enforcement officials across the state continue to adopt a tough stance against distracted driving.
In an interview with WISH-TV, Devon McDonald, the executive director of the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, said: "People still drive around watching Netflix videos while they're driving. The big reasons why crashes occur, generally speaking, are speeding. (But) distracted driving is definitely a high, high incident rate with crashes."
Distracted driving in Indiana
Indiana has taken significant measures in recent years to reduce the number of distracted driving accidents across the state. One such initiative is the Hands-Free Indiana law, which was passed in 2020 and targets drivers who use cell phones while driving.
However, despite such efforts, the number of distracted driving accidents in Indiana has continued to rise in recent years. According to data compiled by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, distracted drivers caused 85 motor vehicle accident fatalities in Indiana last year.
Moreover, the latest accident data shows that the number of distracted driving accident fatalities increased by 25 percent in 2022, with 68 car accident fatalities attributed to distracted driving.
What are Indiana's distracted driving laws?
The Hands-Free Indiana law, implemented in 2020, aims to reduce distracted driving and enhance safety on the state's roadways by prohibiting drivers from holding mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. The state law stipulates that drivers who violate the hands-free law can face fines of up to $500 and have penalty points added to their driver's license if caught by law enforcement holding a cell phone while driving.
Additionally, texting while driving has been illegal in Indiana since 2011 under Indiana Code 9-21-8-59. The law prohibits drivers of all ages from reading, typing, or sending text messages while driving. Furthermore, using a cell phone or texting while stopped at a red light is illegal under Indiana law.
Despite these measures, distracted driving accidents remain a significant problem in Indiana.
What to do if you're hit by a distracted driver
If you have been involved in a car crash caused by a distracted driver in Indiana, it's important that you take certain steps right away to protect your health and your rights:
- Call the police immediately and tell them you have been involved in a car accident caused by a distracted driver. But, of course, the easiest way to do this is to call 911.
- Ask the dispatcher to send an ambulance if you or anyone else is seriously injured.
- If someone saw your accident, get their name and phone number. Statements from eyewitnesses can strengthen your accident claim.
- Take pictures of your car crash.
- Get the other driver's information (name, phone number, address, insurance info, and driver's license number) and give the same information to the other driver.
- Don't talk about your crash with anyone at the accident scene.
- Call an attorney right away to protect your rights and learn your potential legal options.
Let an experienced car accident fight for you.
You may think you don't need a lawyer if a distracted driver crashes into your car and local police or Indiana State Police are investigating the accident. However, it is crucial to understand the scope of their investigation. In most cases, their primary focus is determining if local, state, or federal laws were violated. Unfortunately, this investigation does not necessarily ensure that you receive fair compensation for your losses incurred in the collision.
This is where the highly skilled car accident lawyers at Boughter Sinak, LLC come in. We can help you navigate the legal process, answer your questions, explain your options, and work toward ensuring that you receive fair financial compensation for your losses.
Our law firm has a proven track record of getting results for our clients. We handle cases throughout the state of Indiana and have offices located in Fort Wayne and South Bend. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay no fees unless we secure a financial settlement or verdict.
If a distracted driver hit you in Indiana, don't hesitate to contact us and schedule a free case evaluation to see how an experienced car accident attorney can help you.