Far too many drivers in Indiana focus their attention on other tasks that have nothing to do with driving. It's common to see another driver eating, drinking, taking care of personal hygiene, texting, or fiddling with their radios.
Technology provides a great deal of convenience. People can check their social media notifications, stream videos, choose a song on their playlists, or send texts and emails from the palms of their hands. Many drivers have the urge to use this technology while behind the wheel, despite the known risks. Unfortunately, in Indiana, little is being done to prevent the use of handheld technology while driving.
What's worse, we never know how many distracted drivers we may be sharing the road with on a daily basis. According to the National Safety Council, distracted driving isn't always determined to be the cause of crashes because it doesn't always leave behind physical evidence. Moreover, distracted drivers don't often admit to being distracted when they cause a crash.
Indiana ranks poorly for distracted driving enforcement
According to Forbes, a recent study ranked Indiana No. 43 in the nation for distracted driving laws and enforcement of existing laws. The state received a score of 43.7 out of 100, while Rhode Island (which ranked No. 1) received a score of 84.3.
Why has Indiana ranked so low? Let's first take a look at the state laws. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, there are only 21 states with a universal cellphone ban for all drivers. Indiana only has a texting ban for all drivers. That means drivers can technically browse the internet, scroll through social media, and make phone calls without the use of a hands-free device.
A cellphone ban only applies to drivers under the age of 21. All other drivers, including school bus drivers, can use cellphones for all purposes other than texting.
How can I take legal action after a crash with a distracted driver?
If you or a loved one was hurt in a crash with a distracted driver, determining who was at fault will require an in-depth investigation. The driver who hit you may not admit to driving while distracted. Furthermore, the insurance company representing the at-fault driver will likely attempt to shift the blame onto you.
The evidence gathered by your attorney will tell the real story. For example, your attorney may be able to subpoena cellphone records indicating that the at-fault driver was texting, using social media, or making a phone call. In addition, your attorney may be able to obtain video footage of your crash if there were surveillance cameras present. This evidence may disappear quickly, so the sooner you act the better.
Don't hesitate to get started on your claim. Contact Vaughan & Vaughan in Lafayette, Indiana to schedule your free case evaluation. You can also call our law office at (765) 742-0056.