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Taking a Look at the Driving While Distracted Law in Nevada

  • By Craig Kidwell
  • 02 Oct, 2017

Nevada has strict laws related to driving while distracted.  As a driver, it's critical to understand these laws.  Additionally, if you are bringing forward a personal injury lawsuit against someone, it can help to know the basics of these laws.

What is Nevada's "Failure to Pay Attention While Driving" Law?

Also called the "eyes on the road" law, this law expressly prohibits drivers from texting or using the internet while driving, and it also bans the use of handheld cell phones.  However, drivers can also be charged for failure to pay attention while driving for a number of other offenses as well.

These additional distractions can be particularly important to understand if you're trying to bring an injury lawsuit against a party who you feel was not paying attention.

What are Other Types of Distractions?

Other types of distractions can include activities ranging from grooming to using a navigation system.  Basically, any activity that pulls your attention away from the road can constitute driving while distracted.  That broad umbrella includes activities that take your eyes off the road and activities that take your mind off the road.

It also includes "physical distractions" which refers to doing something other than driving.  For example, eating a sandwich or passing items to your kids in the back seat are both examples of physical distractions.

Is Being Distracted for a Second Dangerous?

Many people have done activities like this while driving at one time or another, so you may be wondering why the law is so strict.  The answer is simple: distracted driving is linked to a shocking amount of injuries and deaths each year.  To illustrate how dangerous it can be, take a simple issue such as glancing down at your cup holder to put down your drink.  It only takes a second, but what can happen in a second?

If you're on a freeway driving 75 miles an hour, you are covering about 2% of a mile per second.  That equates to about 105 feet per second.  If most drivers were asked whether or not they would wear a blindfold while driving down over 100 feet of freeway, they would say no.

Glancing away from the road is just as bad as wearing a blindfold, and if you're looking at something more engaging than a cup holder, like a text message or a social media post, your eyes are likely to stay off the road even longer.  That increases the potential for an accident.

How Many Accidents Are Caused by Distracted Driving?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nine people in the United States die every day from distracted driving and 1,000 people are injured on a daily basis.  In 2015, a couple of years before the law was implemented in Nevada, the national death toll was 3,477 people and over 391,000 people were injured.  That equates to nearly 10 deaths and nearly 1,072 injuries every single day.
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