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Safe Driving Tips

Highway crashes are no accident. Each year, more than 800 people lose their lives on Hoosier roadways. Most of those crashes were caused by driver errors including impaired driving, speeding, aggressive driving or distracted driving.  The good news is that as a driver, you hold the key to crash prevention.

View INDOT's Five Keys to Crash Prevention below!
  • Buckle Up!

    According to studies, wearing a seatbelt reduces your chance of being killed in a car crash by 60 percent. Make sure you and your passengers are properly restrained. This is the single most important thing you can do to protect your life and the lives of your loved ones if involved in a motor vehicle crash.

    For more information, visit Buckle Up Phone Down!

  • Never Drive Impaired.

    In the U.S., an impaired driver kills someone every 30 seconds.  Following these safety tips can help keep you from becoming a statistic:

    • Don't risk it - If you plan to drive, don't drink.
    • Choose a sober designated driver before partying.
    • Take mass transit, a ride-sharing service, a taxicab, or ask a friend to drive you home.
    • Spend the night where the activity is being held.
    • Immediately report impaired drivers to law enforcement.
    • Always wear your seat belt – it’s the best defense against an impaired driver.

    For more information, visit

  • Drive Attentively.

    Driving while distracted or drowsy can have deadly consequences.  Follow these steps to stay alert on the highway:

    • Get enough rest to avoid fatigue.
    • Avoid long drives at night. The glare of lights, both on your dashboard and outside your car, can make you sleepy.
    • Keep the temperature cool in your vehicle.
    • Take frequent breaks. At least every two hours, stop at a gas station, restaurant or rest stop. Get out of the car, walk around, even jog or do calisthenics.  Exercise fights fatigue.
    • Keep the phones down! As of July 1, 2020, Indiana is the 22nd state in the country to enact a hands-free while driving law. Learn more.
  • Drive Defensively.

    Aggressive drivers are not thinking clearly behind the wheel, and their dangerous actions often cause crashes.  Use the following tips to keep a clear head and protect yourself from aggressive drivers:

    • First and foremost, make every attempt to safely get out of their way.
    • Put your pride in the back seat. Do not challenge them by speeding up or attempting to hold your own in your travel lane.
    • Avoid eye contact and ignore gestures.
    • Report aggressive drivers to the appropriate authorities.
    • If an aggressive driver is involved in a crash farther down the road, stop a safe distance from the crash scene, wait for the police to arrive, and report the driving behavior you witnessed.

    For more information, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

  • Share the Road.

    Motorcycles, pedestrians, bicyclists and commercial trucks all need special consideration on the roadway.  Pay special attention around these highway users, or you may end up in a crash.


    • Stay out of the “No Zone,” the blind spot on the passenger side of the truck.
    • Don’t brake suddenly in front of trucks; they take much longer to stop than a smaller vehicle.
    • Give trucks plenty of room to turn; they have a wide turning radius.


    • Watch aggressively for motorcycles, they can be easily hidden in traffic.
    • Anticipate hazards that may confront motorcycles and predict how the motorcyclist may react.
    • Follow at least two-seconds behind a motorcycle.
    • Watch out when turning left.  Most crashes between motorcycles and other vehicles involve turning left at an intersection.

    Pedestrians and Bicycles:

    • Stop for pedestrians at crosswalks and intersections.
    • Slow down, pay attention and obey the posted speed limit.
    • Always look out for pedestrians and cyclists, especially before turning at a green light or making a right on red or left on solid green.
    • Leave at least three feet of passing space between the right side of your vehicle and a bicyclist.
    • Reduce your speed when passing a cyclist, especially if the roadway is narrow.
    • Children on bicycles are often unpredictable in their actions. Expect the unexpected.

    Visit for more information.

Protect Your Children

Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children ages 1-13.

  • Car seats and boosters provide protection for infants and children in a crash.
  • Select a car seat based on your child’s age and size, and use it every time.
  • Make sure the car seat is installed properly by referring to the car seat manufacturer or the vehicle owner’s manual.
  • Keep your child in a car seat as long as possible, as long as the child fits within the manufacturer’s height and weight requirements.
  • Keep your child in the back seat at least through age 12.

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