07/13/13 Governor Mike Pence and the Indiana Department of Labor want all young Hoosiers to stay safe on the roads this summer. To remind everyone of the dangers of texting and driving, a video about texting and driving created by the governor’s daughter, Charlotte Pence, is now available on the Indiana Department of Labor’s website.

“As more young workers get behind the wheel on their way to and from summer jobs, it’s important they recognize the dangers of texting and driving,” said Governor Pence. “We need them to remain safe so they can lead Indiana into the future.”

Drivers under the age of 20 are the most likely to drive while distracted. Eleven percent of all drivers in this age group involved in a fatal crash were reported as distracted at the time of the crash, according to DISTRACTION.GOV.

Charlotte produced and edited the video for a school project while in high school. She entered the video in the Skills USA preproduced video contest where she won second place.

Distracted driving is one of the primary causes of vehicle accidents. Texting while driving is the most alarming form of distracted driving because it includes all three types of distracted driving: cognitive, visual and manual. A driver who is texting while driving is 23 times more likely to get into a crash than those drivers who are not distracted, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

In Indiana alone, there were 500 total vehicle crashes in 2011 linked to a driver who was distracted by his or her cell phone. Nine of these crashes left incapacitated victims, according to the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute.

Sometimes, an issue cannot wait to be handled, whether someone is driving or not. In these cases, the safest thing to do is just pull over to a parking lot or other safe area and make a call or send a text. Drivers should be sure to tell the recipient of their text message that they are on the road and will not be able to reply to the next text immediately.

Under Indiana law, it is unlawful to type, transmit or read email or text messages on a communication device while driving in Indiana. Violators potentially face fines of up to $500.

For more information about texting while driving or distracted driving, please visit DISTRACTION.GOV.