Indiana’s motor vehicle laws prohibit sending and reading text or email messages while driving. Catastrophic collisions can occur in a split second, and many vehicle crashes result from distractions that take a driver’s attention away from the road. The main distractions that cause vehicle accidents include eating, changing music and using a mobile phone, according to the Indiana Department of Labor.
If there are suspicions that a phone call or a text message contributed to a crash, a search warrant may allow investigators to retrieve cellular phone records. To obtain a warrant to gather evidence for a court case, however, law enforcement must first prove probable cause. An eyewitness may, for example, testify seeing a motorist with a phone in his or her hand at the time of the accident. An individual might also admit to using a phone while driving.
Truck driver texting on cell phone rear-ends motorist
As reported by the Northwest Indiana Times, a semi-truck driver distracted by texting rear-ended a 22-year-old motorist stopped at a traffic light on a stretch of Indiana 49 in Valparaiso. The sudden impact from the large commercial truck moving at 65 mph caused the motorist to incur long-term traumatic injuries. He may require cognitive and physical therapy for the remainder of his life.
The truck’s unexpected and severe force appears to have caused permanent damage to the young motorist’s brain. After enduring 15 different surgeries, the former National Guard service member still suffers from short-term memory loss, double vision and neck pain. He may never realize his dreams of working as a railroad conductor or law enforcement official. The jury’s award of $16.5 million includes punitive damages against the trucking company. Juries typically award punitive damages to serve as a warning to other individuals and companies.