|The Indiana Department of Transportation is challenging Hoosier drivers to buckle up and put their phones down. Wednesday, Oct. 25, is Buckle Up Phone Down Day, a day dedicated to encouraging motorists to rethink every trip they make in a vehicle, with the goal of improving safety on roadways. INDOT is joining other states in a larger movement that tackles two of the most impactful actions a driver can take to prevent crashes – or survive if one occurs.“Unfortunately, 980 people lost their lives on roadways in Indiana last year,” said INDOT Commissioner Mike Smith. “My personal goal and a goal of the agency is to reduce fatalities and severe injuries on Indiana roadways by 25 percent over the next decade. INDOT is consistently looking at ways to improve safety on our network, but we know that changing driver behavior will be a huge challenge. Getting on board with Buckle Up Phone Down is a step toward progress.”|
First, Hoosiers can buckle up each and every time they get in a vehicle, as a driver or a passenger. Of the 980 people killed on Indiana roadways last year, 253 were unrestrained. Second, drivers can put their phones down when they get behind the wheel. Indiana enacted its Hands-Free Law in 2020, however distracted driving is still a leading cause of crashes. Indiana State Police reports that mobile devices were involved in more than 7,000 crashes in 2022 alone. Many times distracted driving leads to crashes involving roadway departures. Last year 468 fatalities and more than 11,000 injuries were related to vehicles leaving the roadway in Indiana.
Statistics show that these two actions can have an impact on highway incidents and fatalities. The Buckle Up Phone Down Challenge is trying to change these numbers. Follow INDOT and other state Departments of Transportation across the country on social media to take part in the challenge. Like, share and use the official hashtags, #BUPD and #BUPDDay to show your support. Drivers can also watch for specialized messages on Dynamic Message Signs on interstate routes across Indiana.