Nevada law prohibits the use of cell phones while driving. These rules went into effect on October 21, 2011, and are intended to apply to all drivers within the state. However, the rules do have a few loopholes and may not cover all drivers in all situations. Las Vegas attorney Adam Kutner believes that understanding the rules governing cell phone use and the risks inherent in this modern technology can help drivers remain safe on the streets and highways of Nevada.
Hands-Free Cell Phone Use Still Allowed
Most drivers can avoid citations by using hands-free devices to engage in cell phone conversations. However, texting, reading and Internet searches are strictly prohibited and can result in a misdemeanor traffic offense and a fine for each incident. Under Nevada law, a first offense carries a $50 fine and is not considered a moving violation. Subsequent offenses within a seven-year period, however, are considered moving offenses and can result in points off the driver’s license and larger fines. Nevada police officers can pull over vehicles for cell phone use as a primary reason for the traffic stop.
Dangers of Distracted Driving
The primary reason for restricting the use of cell phones while driving is to reduce distractions for drivers behind the wheel. A study published by AAA in 2010 indicated that over 60 percent of drivers felt cell phone use reduced safety on the road. However, despite this perception, 70 percent of drivers continued to talk on cell phones while driving. National statistics paint a grim picture of the results of distracted driving, with between 4,000 and 8,000 accidents attributed to distractions each day.
Drivers Held Accountable for Texting While Driving
Several high profile cases across the United States have highlighted the risks of texting behind the wheel:
• Aaron Deveau, a teen from Massachusetts, was found guilty of motor vehicle homicide after a head-on collision that killed a New Hampshire father. Deveau was texting at the time of the accident and crossed the center line to strike the other vehicle. The court sentenced him to two years in prison and took away his driving privileges for 15 years.
• Another case in Kansas City involved 16-year-old Rachel Gannon. Gannon was first charged with felony involuntary manslaughter for texting and driving in an incident that took the life of 72-year-old Loretta Larimer in September 2011. Gannon was sentenced to two days in jail and probation for the incident. However, a violation of her probation now requires Gannon to spend her nights in jail. She is allowed to attend high school during the day.
These are representative of hundreds of cases filed against drivers for texting while behind the wheel and demonstrate that a ticket is the least serious consequence of this dangerous activity.
For those who have been injured by texting drivers, finding the right attorney to pursue their claims can provide a measure of compensation for their pain and suffering. Attorneys like Adam Kutner can deliver real help and guidance throughout the court process and can ensure that these victims and their families can receive the maximum settlement to help them recover from these painful and unnecessary accidents.