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What are Nevada's laws regarding cell phone use while driving?

According to the Nevada Department of Transportation, a person who is talking on the phone while operating a motor vehicle is four times more apt to be involved in a car accident than those who don't. In fact, if a person is using a cell phone while behind the wheel of a car to send a text message or make a phone call, his or her reaction time can be delayed just as much as if the person was driving while intoxicated. This is true even if the motorist is using their cell phone hands-free.

Nationwide in 2012, almost 3,500 individuals lost their lives and around 500,000 suffered injuries in accidents involving a distracted driver. However, this number might be much higher, as a police report doesn't always mention whether distracted driving played a role in the collision.

For these reasons, in 2011 Nevada made it against the law to send a text message or make a phone call on a handheld cell phone while driving. This extends to talking on the phone, reading something on the phone or typing on the phone.

The Nevada DOT recommends that motorists put their phones in their glove box, or somewhere else where they won't be able to access it while behind the wheel. If a motorist must use their cell phone while driving, they should pull their vehicle over to a parking lot or somewhere else that's safe before using their phone. Keep in mind that simply pulling over to the side of the road may not be safe, since the person is still nearby moving vehicles. They note that there are apps that block phone calls that a person can use while driving. There are other steps that can be taken to avoid distracted driving from cell phone use as well.

These might be good tips, but for those involved in accidents caused by distracted drivers, they come too little too late. A person can be seriously injured in an accident caused by someone who was using their cell phone while behind the wheel. Those who have been injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver may want to take the steps necessary to protect their legal rights, including pursuing a personal injury lawsuit if appropriate.

Source: Nevadadot.com, "Handheld Cell Phone Ban," Accessed Nov. 7, 2017

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