cellphoneOn July 1, 2010, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels signed legislation that prohibits the use of any telecommunications device to type, transmit or read text messages or emails while operating a moving motor vehicle. If caught, offenders can face a fine of up to $500.

We bring this to your attention because the U.S. Department of Transportation has declared April national Distracted Driver Awareness Month. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s slogan for its third annual campaign is “One Text or Call could Wreck it All.” This push is to help enact laws banning texting and hand-held cell phone use while driving.

In 2009, distracted driving killed nearly 5,500 people and injured almost half-a-million. Also in 2009, nearly 16% of all fatal automobile crashes involved distracted drivers. Cell phones, GPS units and radios can all distract drivers.

Here are a few interesting facts:

  • Using a cell phone while driving delays your reaction time as much as having a blood alcohol concentration of .08, the legal limit for drunk driving.
  • Drivers who use a hand-held device are 4 times more likely to get into a crash serious enough to cause injury.
  • Texting drivers are 23 times more likely to get involved in a crash.

If you would like more information on distracted driving log on to the DOT’s website, distraction.gov, for laws in your state and how you can help.

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