Chet Skwarcan is an award-winning engineer, writer, and industry innovator in the field of traffic engineering. He is known for leveraging his creativity, logic, and technology to solve today’s engineering challenges.

Distracted Driving

Please Don’t Buy a Hot Dog Case

House Bill 1070 was signed into law earlier this month. The law prohibits Indiana motorists from holding or using a cellphone while operating a motor vehicle unless they use hands-free technology such as Bluetooth or a cellphone mount. An exception is if you are calling 911 in an emergency situation (FYI, ordering pizza is not considered an emergency). Although Indiana already had a ban on texting while driving, law enforcement officials found it difficult to enforce.

Cell phone use is considered the most common activity leading to a crash and therefore prohibited as of July 1, 2020. Other actions considered Distracted Driving Activities (i.e., DDA’s) include:

Eating while driving

Applying makeup

Changing music

And even talking to other passengers

Unfortunately, as pictured above, clever entrepreneurs have started selling cell phone cases resembling various food items. But beware, fines are even stiffer for motorists using a cellphone disguised as a hotdog or even a bologna sandwich w/cheese and mustard.

And although you may not be fined explicitly for eating a heap of spaghetti while driving, you may find yourself in a heap of trouble if it’s considered distracted driving – especially if resulting in an accident or injury.

Because you can’t control other drivers, avoiding DDA’s is only part of the equation — it can’t be stressed enough the importance of being defensive: maintain your following distance, slow down at intersections, beware of blind spots, expect other drivers to make mistakes, and when in doubt, yield.

Chet Skwarcan (traffic engineer, author, unique insights) with over 25 years of traffic engineering experience — online ideas available at