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Distracted driving dangers in Indiana

For several decades now, public awareness of the dangers associated with drinking and driving has increased thanks in part to the efforts of groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving. While this is certainly good news, it should not let Indiana residents become too confident in feeling safe when on the roads. While drunk driving continues to be a problem, another danger has also emerged onto the scene in the form of distracted driving.

According to the Indiana Department of Labor, many things can constitute distracted driving. Basically anything that takes a person's hands, eyes or concentration away from the active pursuit and action of driving can be a distraction and lead to behavior called distracted driving. Some distractions are manual only meaning that a driver's hands are taken away from driving. Some are visual only as they divert a driver's eyes away from anything related to driving. Other distractions are cognitive as they require a driver's attention and mental focus be switched away from driving.

Texting is perhaps the most serious of all distractions for drivers because it requires a driver to take his or her hands, eyes and concentration away from driving all at the same time. According to Distraction.gov, the state of Indiana does outlaw texting while driving for all drivers. In addition, any novice drivers are banned from using a smartphone while driving even if that use is done in a hands-free mode. Other drivers, however, are allowed to hold phones and make calls at any time while they are driving.

The U.S. Department of Transportation notes that as many as 17 percent of all injury crashes in the U.S. involve some form of distracted driving.

 

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