Indianapolis Car Accident Attorneys Explain State Driving Laws
With a few tweaks and additions, Indiana's traffic laws could reduce bad car accidents and save lives, according to a new study.
Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety recently ranked the 50 states and Washington, D.C. by analyzing their driving laws regarding teens and people who drive impaired, drunk, or distracted. They also reviewed travel safety measures like seatbelt and child booster seat requirements. States were ranked on a scale of Green (best), Yellow, and Red (worst).
Indiana scored "Yellow" with a note from authors that it wouldn't take much for the state to rise to Green.
Fatal Accidents on the Rise
The report is coming out amid a national increase in serious injury-causing and fatal accidents. Car accident attorneys have been handling a lot more injury insurance claims and wrongful death lawsuits over the last two years.
In 2019, for example, more than 800 people were killed in Indiana car, truck, or motorcycle accidents. This brings the 10-year total number of in-state roadway fatalities to 8,046, according to the report.
Some of the roadways that have seen multiple deadly crashes include:
Indiana Driving Laws
Indiana is ahead of a lot of states when it comes to providing a safe driving experience. In 2019, there were 0.98 car accident fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles in Indiana. The national average that year was 1.11 per 100 million miles traveled.
Still, more can be done.
The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety report made a handful of recommendations to reduce the risk of severe accidents by adding to or strengthening Indiana's laws.
Laws Indiana is "missing" or could make stronger include:
- Require all motorcycle riders to wear a helmet
- Booster seat and rear-facing toddler car seat mandates
- Setting a minimum age of 16 to acquire a learner's permit
- Nighttime driving restrictions on graduated licenses
- Ignition locks penalty for all instances of impaired driving or DUI
Indiana Work Zone Safety Proposal
Indiana lawmakers are working on traffic safety legislation. At the moment, their focus is on preventing fatal and serious injury-causing crashes in work zones.
A proposal was recently reintroduced to install speed cameras in work zones to remind drivers to slow down and to catch speeders. If approved, the cameras would automatically ticket vehicles going 12 mph or more over the speed limit. More than 3,000 crashes happened in work zones last year, according to local media.
A similar proposal was shot down by people concerned that the cameras are an invasion of privacy. Some have suggested increasing police traffic patrols to reduce crashes instead of using cameras.
Indiana Counties With the Most Fatal Crashes
Some areas of Indiana experience more fatal car crashes than others. The National Highway Safety Administration tracks deadly accidents. In Indiana, counties that reported the most fatalities in 2019 include:
- St. Joseph
Drilling down further into the data reveals that there were two Indiana cities among U.S. metros with the highest car accident fatality rates in 2019. Indianapolis' car accident fatality rate was 11.41 per 100,000 people. Fort Wayne's was 10.72.
Negligent Drivers and Car Accident Victims
Legislation can help reduce car accidents that result in injury or death, but it can't stop every crash from happening. No matter how carefully you drive, it only takes one reckless driver to hit you and turn your whole life upside down.
When someone else's negligence leads to a car accident that causes injury or death to another, it is critical that those responsible are held accountable for their actions.
If you were injured in a crash that wasn't your fault or a loved one died in a fatal car accident, contact Vaughan & Vaughan for a free case evaluation. At no cost to you, our experienced legal team can help you understand how the law applies to your situation and give you a clear understanding of your legal options.
Do not give an official statement to the insurance company or accept a settlement offer without consulting an attorney first. You only get one chance to be made whole again, and our car accident lawyers can fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. We have offices in Indianapolis, Lafayette, Kokomo, Anderson, Carmel, and Muncie.