Indiana defines distracted driving as any person behind the wheel who engages in an activity that has the potential to distract them from driving. These distractions include technology, busy lifestyles, and stressful jobs, according to the State’s website. Other common activities that count as distracted driving include:
- Changing music on the CD player, radio, or MP3 player
- Eating or drinking
- Brushing your hair, applying makeup, other grooming activities
- Using a navigation system
- Cell phone usage, which includes talking, talking pictures, and texting
If you are a driver under the age of 18 in Indiana, you are not allowed to use a cell phone or text message while driving at all, including hands free devices. In addition, drivers of all ages are not allowed to text and drive. A driver over the age of 18 may make phone calls with a handheld or hands free device as there is no prohibition against this.
The only exception to these laws is if you need to use the cell phone to call 911 and report an emergency.
- Those under 18 years of age are not allowed to use a cell phone at any time. This includes texting and making phone calls
- Drivers over the age of 18 are allowed to make phone calls, but texting is not allowed
- Calling 911 to report an emergency
- Up to $500
A police officer can pull you over for no other reason than witnessing you texting and driving. Furthermore, if you are under the age of 18 and are using your cell phone, you may be pulled over for this single reason as well. There are more vehicle accidents caused by texting and driving than by drinking and driving, so Indiana police officers are cracking down on those who are texting behind the wheel.
Indiana has specific laws when it comes to using your cell phone behind the wheel, however, drivers of all ages are banned from texting and driving. This includes reading, typing, sending an an email, or text messaging. Studies have shown that if you do text and drive, your reaction time goes down by 30 percent. If you do have to use a cell phone while you are driving, make sure you pull over to a safe area and do not ever text and drive.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Cell Phones and Texting: Distracted Driving Laws in Indiana and was authored by Valerie Johnston.