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Indiana Ranks Well, But Still Lacks Major Safety Laws

Steve Wagner

Indiana is a tough state when it comes to roadway rules and regulations. In fact, we are among the top states in the country for taking action to protect drivers and passengers on the roads with safety laws in place that better ensure reduced motor vehicle accidents and injuries.

However, according to a recent report from the Indianapolis Star, Indiana is missing four crucial pieces to the roadway safety laws. Our state still does not require motorcyclists to wear helmets, and in 2013, 113 of our motorcyclists were killed in roadway accidents.

Indiana has yet to employ the use of Ignition Interlock devices. Although the technology is available, and some judges are mandating their use on a case-by-case basis, the state has not enacted laws to require their use for every driver with a history of drunk driving.

Indiana is also one of the more lenient states for new drivers. We still don’t require teens to be 16 before receiving their permit, and we wonder what a few more months of maturity and experience wouldn’t do to help cut down on the enormous number of young people who are killed each year behind the wheel. In 2013, we lost over 100 teens to car crashes.

In addition to this leniency, Indiana has no restrictions on overnight driving for teenagers. Some other states require a “curfew” of sorts for teen drivers, requiring that if a teen is driving between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., they be supervised by a licensed adult. States that utilize these restrictions have seen a 60% decrease in crashes that happen during those nighttime hours.

While we are on the right track with so many of our rules and regulations for the road, there is still a long way to go in doing the best we can to ensure the safety of Indiana residents. We also wonder how much taxpayer money could be saved by simply enforcing these regulations? Although Indiana ranked 12th among the nation for safety, fatalities in 2013 cost the state over $7 million in medical costs, cleanup costs, and other expenses.

We urge to you put these practices into effect within your own family, whether they are laws or not, as they may save your life or the life of someone you love. Most importantly, be smart and stay alert. Call Wagner Reese if you have a question about vehicular accidents, or if you would like to schedule a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys.


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