FindLaw KnowledgeBasePublished: 2012-04-10
Do you multi-task behind the wheel and believe it’s dangerous? Do you consider texting and driving the equivalent of drinking and driving? These questions encapsulate the contemporary concerns regarding distracted driving on the highways, streets and roads of Indiana. Distracted driving concerns can be broken into three different areas: manual, visual and cognitive.
Manual distracted driving is when a driver takes his or her hand off of the driving wheel. Visual distracted driving is when a driver removes her or his eyes away from the road, and cognitive distracted driving is when a driver's mind focuses upon a different task than driving.
Text messaging encompasses all three types of distraction, and because texting involves the triumvirate of distraction, it is considered the most dangerous activity to do while behind the wheel. The state of Indiana has recognized that danger by passing and enforcing a ban against texting while driving. The Indiana texting ban applies to all drivers and is a primary law, which means that police can pull drivers over specifically for texting behind the wheel.
Despite the danger, many people in Indiana continue to use their cellphones behind the wheel. What many drivers may not realize is that the effects of using a handheld cellphone while driving are similar to driving after consuming two alcoholic drinks. The danger of driving while using a handheld cellphone may also not be as recognized because many states -- including Indiana -- do not have laws prohibiting all handheld cellphone use while driving.
Even though Indiana does not have a specific law against all cellphone use behind the wheel (just texting while driving), drivers who bob and weave in traffic because of cellphone use may be pulled over under careless, improper or inattentive driving laws. The same goes for drivers trying to complete other actions in the car as well. Actions like eating and drinking, reading maps, attending to children, reading and grooming are also distractions behind the wheel that can be dangerous and lead to disastrous consequences.
Drivers who feel they need to attend to tasks other than driving should pull over in a safe location because too many people are injured every year by multi-taskers behind the wheel. Around 450,000 injuries in the United States were caused by distracted driving in 2009. No one wants to be the driver who causes an accident, injury or worse because his or her focus was on something other than the road. Further, victims of distracted driving accidents often find their lives are changed forever.
If you have been injured by a distracted driver, contact an experienced personal injury attorney.