Driving safely requires our full attention cognitively, manually, and visually. However, some people still choose to engage in dangerous behaviors while driving, including texting. Sending a text message takes your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, and your mind away from driving – and raises the risk of an accident. Nevada imposes strict penalties for texting and driving. If you’ve been in an accident due to another person texting and driving, contact the Las Vegas texting and driving accident attorney today.
What Is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving occurs when a driver is not focusing on the road, instead choosing to engage in another activity. It can come in three different forms.
- Cognitive distraction occurs when the driver’s mind does not focus on the task of driving.
- Manual distraction occurs when the driver’s hands are off the wheel, instead of performing another task.
- Visual distraction occurs when the driver takes his or her eyes off of the road.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), texting while driving is especially dangerous. Every day, approximately 9 people die as a result of distracted driving and more than 1,000 suffer injuries across the country. Texting and driving is a cognitive, visual, and manual distraction – your brain comprehends the text, your eyes are on the screen, and your hands type and handle the phone.
Sending or reading a text can take your eyes off of the road for approximately 5 seconds – while driving 55 miles per hour, this is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field blindfolded.
Nevada Distracted Driving Laws
Distracted driving is very dangerous, especially texting and driving. Taking your eyes, mind, and hands off of the act of driving can heighten your accident risk and put other people in danger on the road. As a result, Nevada takes distracted driving very seriously.
It is illegal to text, use a hand-held cellphone, or browse the internet on a device while driving in Nevada. You can face fines and administrative penalties for driving and texting in the state.
- A first-offense texting and driving charge can lead to a $50 fine.
- The second offense can lead to $100 in fines and four demerit points.
- A third offense can lead to $250 in fines and four demerit points.
- The state can double fines if the act occurs in a work zone.
You can still use a hands-free headset while driving. In addition, the state will not charge you with distracted driving if you are engaging in any of the following activities at the time.
- You are reporting an emergency or crime to law enforcement.
- You are riding in an autonomous vehicle.
- You are law enforcement or emergency services officer acting within the scope of your duties.
- You are a utility worker responding to an emergency using company devices.
- You are using a voice-operated navigation system attached to your vehicle.
How to Prevent Distracted Driving
It can be very tempting to use a cell phone while driving. However, doing so can lead to significant penalties and put you, your passengers, and other people on the road at risk. In addition, distracted driving can encompass many different types of behaviors – including eating while driving, fiddling with the radio, talking to passengers, and applying makeup.
Prevent distracted driving in your vehicle by following these tips.
- Keep your cell phone out of sight. Place it in your glove compartment or the middle console and only use your cell phone for emergency purposes.
- Adjust your mirrors, seats, and climate controls before you get into the car. Set your GPS before you drive as well.
- Do not eat or drink while driving – fuel yourself before your trip.
Texting while driving is a serious offense and a danger to public safety. Distracted driving can lead to serious accidents, injuries, and even death. If you or someone you love suffered injuries in an accident with a texting driver, you could claim compensation for your losses through a personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim. Contact a personal injury attorney in Las Vegas to learn more about your next steps.