Today, nearly everyone has a cellphone, and many people have smartphones with apps, text messaging capabilities, and the ability to surf the internet at a moment's notice. These mobile devices can create significant distractions, particularly for young drivers.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, approximately 10 percent of people under the age of 20 involved in auto accidents were engaged in distracted driving at the time, and drivers in their twenties comprised nearly one-third of distracted motorists involved in fatal crashes. Approximately 25 percent of teenagers have reported that they typically send at least one text every time they get behind the wheel.
In addition, DOT studies indicate that using a handheld device, such as a phone or GPS, triples the chances of being involved in an accident. That is because a person's eyes are off the road for approximately five seconds when sending a text, enough time to travel about 100 yards on a highway. It is impossible for a motorist distracted by a cellphone to take the swift action necessary to stop or turn to avoid an accident.
In Indiana, drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using a cellphone in any way while operating a vehicle, and it is illegal for drivers of any age to text while driving.
Distracted driving is extremely dangerous and greatly increases the likelihood of having a serious auto accident. After a crash you suspect was caused by distracted driving, contact the skilled attorneys at Gardner & Rans P.C. We offer a free consultation to discuss your case. Please contact us at 574-233-6035.