Statewide — Gov. Eric J. Holcomb issued a proclamation declaring April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month in Indiana. Now in its 11th year, the national observance is dedicated to raising awareness about the dangers and consequences of distracted driving, as well as reminding motorists about the importance of paying attention to the road.
Distracted driving is considered any activity that diverts attention away from the task of driving and includes everything from adjusting the stereo to grooming to eating and drinking. Although all forms are considered dangerous, as they increase the risk of crashing, texting continues to be the most pervasive.
On average, people that text and drive take their attention away from the road for five seconds. At 55 miles per hour, that’s the equivalent of driving the full length of a football field blindfolded. To help curb distracted driving, in 2020, Indiana became the 22nd state in the nation to pass a hands-free device driving law, which prohibits motorists from holding a mobile device, except in emergencies, while their vehicles are moving. Anyone caught violating the law could face a Class C infraction with fines up to $500.
On April 8, Indiana is participating in a nationwide enforcement campaign to discourage texting and driving called Connect 2 Disconnect. For one day, police agencies across the state will be conducting high-visibility patrols to prevent distracted driving crashes while working to educate motorists about the hands-free law.