Three years ago, in spite of warnings that the law had serious problems, Indiana passed a law banning texting while driving. However, although it was against the law for drivers to text, nothing in the law banned the use of smartphones to access other applications, The Indy Channel reported at the time.
Now, Indiana State Police officers are expressing frustration at the exact loopholes in the law that critics warned about all along. According to a report from WDRB, fewer than 400 tickets were written for violations to the law in the first two years it was in place. While officers may pull a driver over on suspicion of texting and driving, they’re unable to confiscate the driver’s phone in order to prove that the driver was actually texting and not posting on Facebook or typing an address into their phones GPS service or any other use of their cell phone not currently covered by the law.
According to the U.S. government’s official website about distracted driving, distraction.gov, engaging in visual-manual subtasks such as reaching for a phone, dialing, or texting while driving triples a driver’s risk of getting into an accident. Five seconds is the average time it takes for a driver to look away from the road in order to type and send a text message. This time frame, in a car traveling 55 mph, is equivalent to driving the length of a football field while blindfolded, the website states.
Inattentiveness — including cell phone use, changing the car stereo, or talking — is one of the leading causes of car accidents in Indiana. While not all inattentive driving behaviors are covered in the law, the responsibility for damages still lies with the inattentive driver if they cause an accident. If you’ve been injured in an accident due to an inattentive driver, the Indianapolis accident lawyers will fight for you to get the compensation you deserve. For more information, contact us today.