Indiana residents deserve the right to be safe when on the roads. Sometimes accidents happen that are truly accidental and unavoidable but sadly there are far and away too many motor vehicle accidents that happen that are anything but. Crashes caused by the negligent actions of drivers should be avoidable and should not happen yet they do because drivers refuse to make changes.
Distracted driving is one behavior that Indiana residents should be more aware of. According to the Indiana Department of Labor, a person who sends or reads a text while operating a vehicle has a 23 percent greater chance of being in an accident than a person who is not reading or sending a text while driving. It is estimated that more motor vehicle accidents are now caused by texting drivers than by drunk drivers.
Since July of 2011, Indiana law has made it illegal to text or even to send and receive emails while driving. Distraction.gov explains that the ban on texting while driving is a primary law that extends to all licensed drivers. In addition, drivers who are 16 and 17 years old are not allowed to talk on phones while driving even with a hands-free device or system.
Despite more and more states passing laws like this, data from the U.S. Department of Transportation indicates that over 3,300 lives were lost in distracted driving crashes in 2012 alone. In that same year, more than 400,000 people were injured in these wrecks. Clearly, there is more work to be done to get the message across to people that they should focus on driving not texting or other things when behind the wheel.