Is it Legal to Use a Cell Phone While Driving in Indiana?

Statistics show that using a cell phone while driving can be exceptionally dangerous. The practice causes or contributes to 1.6 million crashes and thousands of personal injuries each year, according to the National Security Council. While no state has completely banned using cell phones behind the wheel, some states, including Indiana, restrict the use of cell phones and other telecommunication devices while driving in the interest of public safety.

Novice Drivers Need to Follow the Law

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), teen drivers are three times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash, per mile driven, than any other age group.

Indiana law prohibits drivers under the age of 18 from using cell phones or any type of electronic device behind the wheel—including hands-free devices—due to their inexperience and higher statistical probability of being involved in a car accident.

Indiana Laws on Texting And Driving

Texting and driving seems to be on the rise. In 2011 23% of auto accidents involved the usage of a cell phone according to  Many States have introduced new laws including Indiana. Due to a texting and driving Indiana statewide law that went into effect in July 2011, it’s also illegal for motorists of any age in Indiana to use cell phones or other telecommunication devices to type, transmit, or read a text message or email while driving. The law does allow motorists 18 and older to use a hands-free device behind the wheel. Drivers who run afoul of the ban can face fines of up to $500.

It isn’t only texting and driving, smart phones allow drivers to perform multiple tasks while driving, whether that is reading or sending emails, texting, reading websites, or even making a simple call. All of those activities take your eyes away from the road and put you at a higher risk of being involved in a car accident, missing a red light, stop sign or even someone breaking in front of you. All of these situations pose a potential threat to others on the roadway, including you. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that in 2010 over 3,000 people were killed in distracted driving accidents.

Text messaging or emailing while driving is considered especially dangerous, as it combines the three main types of distraction: visual, manual, and cognitive. The Indiana Department of Transportation reports that motorists who text and drive are 23 times more likely to get into an accident.

Additionally, both the prohibition against cell phone use by young drivers and the text messaging ban are considered “primary laws” in Indiana, meaning the police can stop motorists who break these laws even if they haven’t witnessed them commit any other traffic infractions.

In order to avoid a traffic accident, just let that text wait until you make it to your destination. You might be surprised at the number of deaths that arise every year from auto accidents and the use of a handheld device. We have all seen our friends, parents and even our children paying more attention to their phone while driving rather than the road. It is very dangerous and the outcome of an accident can be catastrophic. However, whether or not you want to avoid getting a ticket, you should be aware of the risks of texting and driving. It isn’t worth risking your life to send that message!

Were You Injured in an Accident?

If you or someone you love was hurt in an accident caused by a driver who was talking on a cell phone or texting behind the wheel, you may be eligible to seek compensation for injuries and other financial losses sustained in the crash. The Indianapolis personal injury attorneys of Sevenish Law Firm can assist you in your pursuit of justice. Contact our Indianapolis law office today to schedule your free consultation or call us directly at 800.278.9200.