Distracted driving is dangerous and deadly. CJI, alongside law enforcement, traffic safety partners and concerned Hoosiers, is working to save lives by preventing this dangerous behavior. Get the facts, get involved, and help us keep America’s roads safe.
What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system — anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving.
Texting is the most alarming distraction. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that's like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.
You cannot drive safely unless the task of driving has your full attention. Any non-driving activity you engage in is a potential distraction and increases your risk of crashing.
We can all play a part in the fight to save lives by ending distracted driving.
Teens can be the best messengers with their peers, so we encourage them to speak up when they see a friend driving while distracted, to have their friends sign a pledge to never drive distracted, to become involved in their local Students Against Destructive Decisions chapter, and to share messages on social media that remind their friends, family, and neighbors not to make the deadly choice to drive distracted.
Parents first have to lead by example — by never driving distracted — as well as have a talk with their young driver about distraction and all of the responsibilities that come with driving. Have everyone in the family sign the pledge to commit to distraction-free driving. Remind your teen driver that in states with graduated driver licensing (GDL), a violation of distracted-driving laws could mean a delayed or suspended license.
Educators and Employers
Educators and employers can play a part, too. Spread the word at your school or workplace about the dangers of distracted driving. Ask your students to commit to distraction-free driving or set a company policy on distracted driving.
Indiana is Hands-Free
To help curb distracted driving, on July 1, 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 and lose points on their license.
One year after the law went into effect more than 5,000 citations and 10,000 warnings have been issued statewide, according to the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute.