distracted driverA new license plate is now available to Indiana motorists. Intended to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving, part of the plate displays the message “PUT THE PHONE DOWN” in large blue and red lettering. The sponsor of the new plate, the Indiana Motor Truck Association (IMTA), hopes that the plate will make more drivers think twice about using a cell phone or other device while behind the wheel.

Distracted Driving: A Serious Danger

In a press release announcing the new plate, the IMTA cited some disturbing statistics about distracted driving. According to this information, about 9 people are killed and more than 1100 injured on American roads every single day because of crashes caused by distracted driving. Those who text and drive are a staggering 23 times more likely to be in a crash than drivers who give the road their complete attention. Perhaps the most sobering statistic is that 80% of all crashes can be blamed on some sort of driver inattention.

Public Information Officer Trent Smith pointed out that in addition to saving lives, putting the phone down can also save drivers money. Using a device to type, transmit, and send or receive texts is already illegal in Indiana. “You can get pulled over like you can for other things. It’s ultimately up to the courts, but you could be fined up to $500 like you could for similar infractions for expired registration or speeding.” Drivers under 21 are forbidden from all device use while behind the wheel.

Support Safe Driving

Motorists wishing to support safe driving can speak up on the road by purchasing a license plate stamped with the phrase “Put the phone down.” It has been available since January 1st. You can learn more about the plate online or purchase it at your next registration date.

There is a $40 fee for this specialty plate, $25 of which is used to fund safety courses that work to stop distracted driving. One such course, sponsored by the IMTA, brings interactive driving simulators to schools and community organizations to educate students and other drivers about the dangers of distracted driving.

Distracted Driving Attorneys

Distracted driving has become a major cause of car crashes. If you or a loved one has been in a crash and you need to speak with an attorney, give Wilson Kehoe Winingham a call. Automobile accident law is an area where we have experience. For a free consultation to discuss the specifics of your case and what you might do next, dial 317-920-6400 or contact us online today.

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