Activities that distract a driver off the road like talking or texting on cellphones, eating, talking with passengers, adjusting vehicle controls are a major safety threat. Distracted driving is a serious public health concern in Nevada. The Nevada Department of Public Safety states that there are more than 3,500 distraction-related crashes reported in Nevada each year.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also states that approximately 9 people are killed in crashes involving a distracted driver every day in the United States, and more than 1,000 injured. According to the NHTSA distracted driving claimed 2,841 lives in 2018, and around 400,000 people were injured in a crash involving distracted drivers in the same year.
Among those killed, there were 1,730 drivers, 605 passengers, 400 pedestrians, and 77 cyclists.
Between 2011 and 2015, there were 517 traffic deaths due to lane departure accidents in the State of Nevada. Lane departure accidents can happen for different reasons, including distracted driving, drowsy, and impaired driving. The Nevada Department of Transportation says that drivers can be distracted by a number of activities, both legal and illegal, that can make drivers lose control of their cars. These activities include:
- Using a cell phone or texting
- Watching a video
- Talking to passengers
- Eating or drinking
- Using a vehicle navigation system
- Adjusting music players and radios
Types Of Distracted Driving
If you’re driving, you need to give it your undivided attention to the road, the cars around you, and the speed limit. If you are not, you are driving distracted. According to the NHTSA, there are three types of distracted driving:
- Manual distraction: when the driver takes their hands off the steering wheel to reach for an item or adjust the radio.
- Visual distraction: when the driver takes their eyes off the road to look at a text, an accident on the road, or a flashy billboard.
- Cognitive distraction: when the driver takes their mind off driving to daydream, think about a problem that needs solving or think about what to make for dinner.
These distractions may seem fairly normal, you might do them all the time, but a lot can happen in a second.
- 31% of drivers are distracted by their dogs in the car. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), 80% of drivers frequently have their dogs with them in the car, but only 17% of them use a pet restraint system, like a seatbelt or kennel.
- When you’re driving and you reach for an object you are eight times more likely to be involved in an accident, that’s three times more than while eating or drinking.
- 58% of crashes involving teen drivers are caused by distracted driving, including texting and driving.
Who is most at risk?
The people most at risk are young adults and teen drivers.
- Drivers under the age of 20 have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes.
- In 2017, 9% of all motor vehicle crash deaths where a teen was driving involved distracted driving.
- CDC’s national Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) monitors health-risk behaviors among high school students, including texting while driving.
- In 2017, 42% of high school students who drove reported sending a text message while driving. Students who reported frequent texting while driving were:
- Less likely to wear a seatbelt.
- More likely to ride with a driver who had been drinking.6
- More likely to drink and drive.
A Comparison Between Distracted Driving vs. Drunk Driving
- Drunk driving takes 29 lives per day, more than 10,000 per year.
- Distracted driving takes 9 lives per day — around 3,500 per year.
- Distracted driving costs victims around $40 billion a year.
- DUIs cost $44 billion every year.
Laws by state
- Only 47 states have laws against distracted driving. Only 16 states have specific laws against texting and driving.
- All 50 states in the US have laws against drunk driving. Law enforcement knows how to identify a drunk driver.
- Drivers can be fined up to $500 for distracted driving.
- Drivers can be fined up to $1,500 for their first DUI.
Is It Illegal To Use Your Cell Phone While Driving In Nevada?
In Nevada, it is illegal to use a cell phone or any electronic device while driving. Since 2012, drivers are not allowed to text, send messages, read emails, or even make phone calls while driving a car. Nevada’s device laws are primary, meaning police officers don’t need another reason to make traffic stops and issue citations. The penalties for violating this law range from fines of $50 for a first offense to $250 with a license suspension of six months for subsequent violations. Voice-operated GPS systems, in-vehicle voice command systems, and hands-free devices are the only state-approved devices.
Involved In An Accident Due To Distracted Driving
If you need help getting compensation after a Nevada accident involving a distracted driver, contact a skilled and dedicated Las Vegas car injury lawyer at Cogburn Law for a free consultation at (702) 748-7777.