As life begins to slowly return to normal, you may have begun to get out and drive again. We all have a lot on our minds, but it is imperative that you focus on the road. So before driving, make the phone calls and send the text messages you need to BEFORE getting in the car. Not only is it unsafe to drive while distracted by a phone or hand-held device, but it is now illegal in Indiana. Hoosiers are no longer permitted to use hand-held devices while driving—a law that took effect July 1, 2020.
The new hands-free law requires drivers to be less distracted by putting down phones and other devices. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 17 percent of all crashes resulting in an injury involved driver distraction. In fact, drivers who text while driving are 23 times more likely to be in an accident. This law makes it illegal to have a telecommunications device in your hand while driving—even when stopped at a light. This was a push by Governor Eric Holcomb to make the roads in Indiana safer. So, keep in mind that after July 1, having a device in your hand while driving is both distracting, and now, illegal. To read more about this new law, visit IN.gov to learn more.
So, turn off your phone or device, buckle your seat belt and abide by the laws of the road by saying no to distracted driving. Here are additional tips to follow to be safe on the road:
- Put your phone on DO NOT DISTURB once you are in the car, so you aren’t tempted to look at your phone and those texting you will know you are driving
- Always clear your windows and mirrors from any kind of hazard that may prevent you from seeing clearly
- Keep up with windshield wipers maintenance throughout the year, so they provide you with good vision during a storm
- Keep both hands on the wheel at all times
- Be sure your tires are ideal for each season of the year and its respective weather and climate
- Do not talk on the phone while driving
- Let your passengers know that while driving you need to have 100% attention on the road
The Indiana Department of Labor discusses distracted driving and why drivers need to be alert 100% of the time while behind the wheel. When you become distracted while behind the wheel you instantly increase the chances of an accident, not only will that accident affect you, but it could impact others’ lives, as well. So, enjoy hands-free driving and say no to distracted driving to do your part in keeping our world a safer place.
State of Indiana. (n.d.) Hands-Free Indiana. Retrieved June 29, 2020 from https://www.in.gov/indot/4063.htm
State of Indiana Department of Labor. (n.d.) Distracted Driving. Retrieved June 29, 2020 from https://www.in.gov/dol/2873.htm
*The information in this article was compiled from a variety of sources and is intended to provide helpful tips only.