Distracted driving is one of the greatest risks plaguing roadways today. Technologies such as smartphones and in-dash infotainment systems have increased the number of car accidents caused by distracted drivers over the last couple of decades. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,522 lives were lost in distracted driving accidents in 2021 alone. Understanding Nevada’s distracted driving laws can help reduce the risk of these disasters.
What Is the Definition of Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving means to operate a motor vehicle while engaged in another activity. Safely and prudently driving a vehicle requires a driver to dedicate 100 percent of his or her attention to the driving task. Anything that takes the driver’s attention away from driving is a dangerous distraction that could result in a car accident.
There are three types of driver distractions:
- Visual: a distraction that takes the driver’s eyes off of the road.
- Manual: anything that requires the use of one or both of the driver’s hands, removing them from the wheel.
- Cognitive: mental distractions that take the driver’s mind off of driving.
Driver distractions can include the use of cell phones or electronics, eating and drinking while driving, reading, changing the radio, looking at a map or GPS, talking to passengers, personal grooming, and daydreaming. Any type of driver distraction can be dangerous, as being distracted will reduce the driver’s focus, reflexes and reaction times.
Nevada Cell Phone Laws
Cell phones are the number one cause of distracted driving car accidents. Like most other states, Nevada has passed laws specifically prohibiting certain types of cell phone use behind the wheel. In Nevada, handheld cell phone use is prohibited. Drivers in Nevada may not talk on a phone or wireless device, search the internet, send or receive messages, or otherwise manipulate a handheld device while driving. Doing so is a misdemeanor that can result in a fine of $50 for a first offense, up to $250 for multiple offenses.
Distracted Driving Rules for Young Drivers in Nevada
Young and inexperienced drivers are more likely to engage in dangerous distracted driving habits than adults. Teen drivers may use their cell phones behind the wheel, for example, or get more easily distracted by their passengers. For this reason, Nevada has rules in place specifically for drivers under the age of 18.
Drivers who are 16 or 17 years of age may not transport passengers who are under the age of 18, except for immediate family members, for the first six months after receiving their drivers’ licenses. Drivers under the age of 18 also may not drive between the hours of 10:00 PM and 5:00 AM, unless they are traveling to a scheduled work or school event.
How to Prove Distracted Driving in a Car Accident Case
If you get involved in a car accident and suspect that the other driver was distracted at the time of the crash, contact an attorney to help you prove your case. In Nevada, the driver or party at fault for an automobile accident will be responsible for paying, but only if his or her fault is established using evidence. Evidence of distracted driving may include cell phone records, witness statements and accident reconstruction. A Las Vegas personal injury attorney can help you present a compelling case against a distracted driver in Nevada to optimize your case results.