In the summer of 2011, the Indiana legislature passed a law banning texting while driving. Since then, some people have questioned if this legislation is being enforced effectively, as it’s resulted in relatively few tickets. A recent article presents the opinions of Indiana state police officers on why they’ve handed out fewer tickets than expected. Some of them say that it’s difficult to prove that the driver really was texting; people can hold their phones furtively, and turn them off or slip them out of sight when confronted. Also, the drivers in question may indeed be receiving tickets, just not for texting while driving; they may be pulled over because they’re speeding, or veering into the wrong lane – actions that could result from texting-induced distraction.
According to the CDC, distracted driving is responsible for thousands of fatalities, and tens of thousands of injuries, on the road. As texting becomes more prevalent, it contributes to the number of crashes caused by distraction. Texting while driving is especially problematic among teens, who are newer to the road and more likely to make poor, impulsive decisions while they’re behind the wheel. Although there are laws targeting texting while driving, there needs to be a stronger general awareness of the danger of this activity to reduce the number of accidents.
How does texting distract from driving?
When you’re texting, you often won’t have both hands on the wheel. This gives you less flexibility to maneuver and less control of your vehicle.
Your eyes frequently leave the road to look at the texts. You’re less likely to notice what’s going on around you as you drive, whether it’s a traffic sign or another car passing through your intersection.
Even if you get a more sophisticated hands-free device, you can still get easily engrossed in your texting, thinking about what you’re saying rather than attending to your driving. You may still fail to see other people and things on the road and react to them quickly, and you may become unaware of problems in your own driving – for instance, that you’ve turned into oncoming traffic or have been gradually exceeding the speed limit.
It won’t be easy to crack down on texting while driving, or to prove in all cases that the driver was distracted. If you’re struggling in the aftermath of an accident resulting from the distractions of texting, contact our Indianapolis accident lawyers. The likelihood of receiving fair compensation from insurance companies and from the parties responsible for the accident may increase if you have an attorney carefully go over all the evidence from your case and advocate for you. Given the severity of such accidents, and the expenses you’d likely incur in the aftermath, don’t hesitate to contact us for assistance.