FORT WAYNE — The Indiana State Police and Parkview Trauma Centers are encouraging citizens to practice distraction-free driving and keep roadways safe.

Effective Wednesday, Indiana’s new hands-free driving law prohibits motorists from holding or using a cellphone while driving.

However, drivers with both hands on the wheel can still become visually, manually or cognitively distracted, state police and Parkview said.

Common distractions that lead to motor vehicle crashes include:

• cellphone use (talking, texting, taking photos, etc.);

• eating or drinking;

• talking to passengers;

• grooming (applying makeup, brushing hair, flossing, etc.);

• using a PDA or navigation system (GPS);

• watching videos; and

• changing music (MP3 players, CDs, radio, etc.)

“Distracted driving creates real and often tragic consequences on our roadways, with cellphone usage being a primary distractor,” said Sgt. Brian Walker, public information officer for the Indiana State Police. “These crash scenes are often traumatic, deadly and life-changing events for thousands of Hoosier families each year. Worst of all, troopers know these crashes are completely preventable! Buckle up, put away the phone, and be responsible, focused and in control behind the wheel.”

“At Parkview Trauma Centers, we see the results of distracted driving all too frequently,” said Lisa Hollister, director of trauma and acute surgery, Parkview Trauma Services. “For years you’ve heard us say ‘Don’t Text & Drive’ along with our campaign partner, Evans Toyota. Take it a step further by not only keeping your hands on the wheel, but also keeping your eyes and mind on the road.”

More information on the impact of distracted driving is online at Parkview.com/DistractedDriving.

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