The news carries stories all too often of car accidents that occur as a result of one driver texting while driving. Distracted driving includes texting, talking on a cell phone, putting on makeup, talking to passengers, and traveling with a pet in the car, just to name a few. Texting while driving, however, is by far the most common distracted driving accidents. In 2003, there were more than 3,000 fatal accidents and more than 400,000 injuries that occurred as a result of distracted driving. This is not surprising, as the same statistics show that texting while driving dramatically increases the likelihood you will be in a crash. States have responded to this issue in a variety of ways.
Laws throughout the United States on Texting While Driving
As of today, 46 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands have a complete text messaging ban for drivers. Oddly, there are still four states that do not ban texting while driving; Missouri, Texas, Arizona, and Montana still allow drivers to text. Missouri and Texas do have a ban for “novice” drivers. Nevada sits with the vast majority of states and has a complete texting ban for drivers.
Texting Laws in Nevada
Texting has been outlawed for drivers in Nevada since the beginning of 2012, and the ban includes not only texting, but also handheld cellphone use and accessing the internet. Violations of this law result in a $50 fine for the first offense. If you are pulled over for the same offense within 7 years, a $100 fine may result, and a subsequent offense can carry up to a $250 fine.
Second and subsequent distracted driving offenses carry another serious penalty – four “demerit points” applied to the driving record. This can result in your license being suspended or revoked if there are too many points, and in significantly higher insurance rates for an extended period of time. If you accumulate 12 demerit points in a 12-month period your license will be revoked automatically for six months.
The distracted driving laws in Nevada are primary laws, meaning the police can pull motorists over without an accompanying traffic offense. Some states that have texting bans require the driver be pulled over for a primary traffic offense, like speeding, for the police to be allowed to issue a distracted driving citation.
There are a few Exceptions
It is ok to briefly touch your phone to activate it, or deactivate it, or to initiate some other feature or function. You may also use your phone for voice or text to report a crime, a medical emergency, or a safety hazard. There are other exceptions for emergency and law enforcement personnel and for licensed operators of two way radios.
Naqvi Injury Law is By Your Side
The personal injury lawyers at Naqvi Injury Law can help you if you have been the victim of a car accident and you were harmed as a result of distracted driving. If you have any questions regarding your legal rights following an accident that resulted from distracted driving, call or email us today and let us help you.