What You Need to Know About Indiana’s Hands-Free Driving Law

a woman applying lipstick and talking on the phone while drivingA new state law went into effect on July 1, 2020, that prohibits drivers from holding mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, in their hands while driving. Learn how this law differs from previous ones and the potential penalties for violating this mandate.

Why Was This Law Passed?

Using a device while driving is extremely dangerous. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving caused 2,841 deaths in 2018 alone. While many may think it’s harmless to glance at their device while operating a vehicle, even taking your eyes off the road for five seconds while traveling 55 mph is equivalent to driving the length of a football field blindfolded!

While the state of Indiana has had a texting and driving ban since 2011, the courts have found it to be unenforceable because it’s too narrowly tailored. The workaround for this was to restrict the use of any telecommunications device in any form while driving (unless used in conjunction with a hands-free device or voice-operated functionality).

How to Follow This Law

As with any law, there can be some confusion about how to obey it correctly. Below are the answers to three common questions about this new law:

Can I Use My Phone at All While Driving?

You may use your phone via a hands-free device or with voice-operated functionality. You may not use your phone if it’s in your hand.

Can I Use My Phone for Directions While Driving?

Yes, as long as it’s on a dashboard-mounted device or held by a passenger. The phone must not be in your hand.

What Are the Consequences of Violating This Law?

If you are caught violating this law, you may face a fine and have points added to your driving record (starting in July 2021).

If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, our Indianapolis attorneys can help you recover the compensation you need for medical bills and lost wages. Contact Wagner Reese at (888) 204-8440 to schedule a free consultation.