The #1 cause of fatal car accidents in the United States is distracted driving. Statistics show that there are approximately 380,000 injuries per year and 3,000 deaths due to distracted driving. This is why the laws are becoming more and more strict. By definition, distracted driving is any non-driving activity that a driver engages in while behind the wheel.
Distracted driving is broken down into three distinct types of distraction:
- Visual — taking your eyes off the road
- Manual — taking your hands off the wheel
- Cognitive — taking your mind off driving
The top 10 examples of distracted driving include:
- Texting while driving
- Using GPS
- Talking on a cell phone
- Talking to other passengers in the vehicle
- Dealing with children or pets
- Adjusting climate or radio stations
- Reaching behind into the backseat
- Applying makeup/grooming
- Eating and/or drinking
- Dealing with intense emotions while driving
The stakes are high particularly in the case of texting and driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), driving a vehicle while texting is six times more dangerous than intoxicated driving. In another study, it was said that driving and texting causes reaction times 23 percent slower than intoxicated drivers.
Are texting and driving against the law in Nevada? Yes, and so are accessing the internet and hand-held cell phone use. According to Nevada state law NRS 484B.165, the use of a hand-held device while driving is banned and considered a primary offense. Therefore, police can pull you over solely for using your device.
Can I talk on the phone with the use of a hands-free device while driving in Nevada? Yes, as long as you do not physically handle your phone at all while behind the wheel, voice activated cell phone use is permitted and lawful.
What are the penalties if I get pulled over for using my cell phone while driving? According to the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles, penalties within a seven year time frame are $50 for the first offense, $100 for the second and $250 for the third and subsequent offenses. If you are caught violating the texting and driving laws in a work zone, the fines may double. There are likely additional administrative fees assessed by the court as well.
Exceptions to Nevada hands-free laws include:
- Use while reporting a medical emergency, safety hazard or criminal activity.
- Use of voice-activated navigation systems attached to the vehicle.
- Riding in autonomous vehicles.
- Drivers with a specific license allowing use of citizen band or other two-way radios requiring a separate, hand-held microphone.
- Law enforcement officers, firefighters or emergency medical personnel acting within the scope of their employment.
- Utility workers responding to an outage or emergency and using devices provided by the company.
- Amateur radio operators providing communications services during an emergency or disaster.
What types of proof can be used to prove texting and driving violations?
- Phone records. Authorities are authorized to review a driver’s phone records in order to prove that a conversation or text message was taking place at the time of an accident or ticket.
- Surveillance videos. With video cameras nearly everywhere these days, camera footage from surveillance videos commonly used by stores, office buildings, casinos, or hotels can be used to determine hand-held device use while driving.
- Photos. You never know who is watching. People in the community can possibly photograph drivers using their cell phone while driving and turn them into the police.
What are the consequences of getting caught texting while driving aside from having to pay a fine?
- After your first offense, you receive 4 demerit points on your record for each consecutive offense thereafter.
- 12 demerit points within one year results in a six month license suspension
- Commercial drivers may receive license suspensions for multiple violations.
- 2 serious offenses within three years – 60 day suspension
- 3 serious offenses within three years – 120 day suspension
- Increase in car insurance premiums.
- Penalties for violations increase with each consecutive violation.
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