William W. Hurst
Law Office of William W. Hurst, LLC
50 S. Meridian St., Suite 600, Indianapolis, IN 46204
It is no secret that using a cell phone while driving is a dangerous epidemic. States are getting stricter on laws and bringing more awareness to drivers through catchy slogans: Drive now, Text L8r; Phone in one hand, Ticket in the other; Drop it and Drive. Some drivers may think they are “good at texting and driving” or that states are being dramatic with the advertisements, but to put this into perspective, texting while driving causes 5 times as many accidents than drunk driving. With the popularity of Uber, Lyft, and M.A.D.D., this statistic is not too shocking for some. A person’s reaction time is decreased by 30% and they are 23 times more likely to crash when texting and driving.
Using a phone while driving is not only dangerous, it may be illegal. Though the laws vary by state, most states have some type of cell phone restriction: 47 have a texting and driving ban, 38 restrict the use of a cell phone by new drivers, and 16 have banned talking on a hand-held cell phone altogether. A misconception among drivers is that police must have another reason to stop you before giving you a cell phone citation. While in some states this is true, the majority enforce their cell phone restrictions as primary laws – meaning you can be pulled over strictly for the use of a cell phone.
In Indiana, drivers under the age of 21 have complete cell phone usage ban. Though there is not a hand-held ban for drivers over 21, there is a complete texting ban which includes typing, transmitting, and reading text messages or emails while driving. In Illinois, in addition to a complete hand-held and texting ban, bus drivers and drivers under the age of 19 may not use their cell phone in any capacity. Sharing a border with Indiana and Illinois, Kentucky cell phone laws are similar to both states. There is not a hand-held ban, but there is a complete texting ban for drivers in Kentucky. Also, bus drivers and drivers under the age of 18 have a complete ban on cell phone use. Driving distracted is extremely dangerous, putting you, your passengers, and other families at risk. Following state cell phone laws will help protect you from legal and physical harm.
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