NEVADA'S DISTRACTED DRIVING LAW
As of January 1, 2012, it is a crime to physically handle a cell phone or other electronic device while driving in Nevada, including talking or texting. This means drivers can be pulled over and cited based on this law alone.
Fines range from $50 for the first offense up to $250 and a six-month license suspension for subsequent offenses within a seven-year period. Penalties may be increased if the alleged violation occurs in a work zone.
These actions are illegal:
- Physically handling a cell phone or other electronic device while operating a vehicle (including talking, texting, or accessing the internet)
- Using an electronic, handheld device at a stoplight
- Picking up a GPS device or programming information into the device
- Playing music on a device if it requires the device to be in the driver’s hand at any time
These actions are approved
- Using a hands-free device or in-car system that acts on voice command
- Voice-operated global positioning or navigation systems that are affixed to the vehicle
- Pulling off the road and using a handheld device while reporting a medical emergency, a safety hazard, or criminal activity
- Law enforcement officers, firefighters, or emergency medical personnel acting within the scope of their duties
So put down your electronic device while you’re driving, or pay up.
THE FACTS ABOUT DISTRACTED DRIVING
There are more than 3,500 distraction-related crashes in Nevada every year. Even worse, according to the 2013 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports, approximately 10 percent of all fatal crashes involved some form of distracted driving. These numbers are believed to be only the tip of the iceberg, as police often have difficulty determining whether or not distraction was a factor in vehicle crashes.
517 vehicle occupants died in lane departure crashes in Nevada from 2011 to 2015. Lane departure incidents are caused by a variety of factors including distracted driving or drowsy driving. A driver can be distracted by the simplest of tasks, both legal and illegal, and lose control of a vehicle. These tasks include:
- Using a cell phone or texting
- Eating or drinking
- Watching a video
- Using a navigation system
- Talking to passengers
- Adjusting Music Players
Technology today provides us with quick, portable access to information. It can help you work more efficiently, but it can also create additional distractions that may take your focus off the road. The most alarming of these distractions is talking or texting while driving. These actions require a combination of visual, manual and cognitive attention from a driver. Because of this, the likelihood of a crash increases dramatically when you drive while sending or receiving a text message or while talking on a handheld phone. Don’t risk it! Focus on the road.
Dangers of cell phone distraction
more likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves
creates a crash risk 23X more likely than driving while not distracted
What you can do
Managing distractions is important and if it saves a life, especially yours, it's worth it. You can defeat distracted driving and improve your chances of arriving home safely by incorporating the following behaviors:
Stay focused on the road and be alert when you're operating a vehicle; especially in less-than-ideal conditions.
Don't ever drive when you’re not able to give the road your full attention.
Make any necessary phone calls before or after driving.
Before driving, store your cell phone in a place such as the glove box where you will not be able to or be tempted to access it while driving.
Do not eat, apply makeup, reach across the vehicle for items, or conduct any other distracting activities while driving.
Seek out and install an application that blocks phone calls and texts while driving.
Ask a passenger to assist you with activities that may be distracting while you are driving, such as reading directions.
Before you start your car, set your phone to silent. It can be hard to resist a ringing cell phone. Why tempt yourself?