Broadly speaking, human error causes over 95 percent of the vehicle accidents in Las Vegas. Freak occurrences like wind gusts, defective tires, and lightning strikes cause a handful, but not very many.
If that driver error was a lack of ordinary care, the victim may be entitled to substantial compensation. The same thing applies if the tortfeasor (negligent driver) violated a safety law, such as the DUI law. In cases like these, damages usually include money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Additional punitive damages may be available as well, in some cases.
Since at least the mid-1990s, law enforcement has cracked down on drunk driving. New technological innovations, like the ignition interlock device, and new legal tools, like DUI roadblocks, have helped immensely. Yet despite all these efforts, alcohol still accounts for about a third of the fatal car crashes in Nevada.
Perhaps more than any other substance, alcohol affects the brain in several ways, making it almost impossible to drive safely. Alcohol gives people a sense of euphoria. At a party, this may be a good thing. But on the road, it impairs necessary judgment skills. Furthermore, alcohol is a depressant which slows reaction time. The combination is often deadly.
Since alcohol impairment begins with the first drink, these cases are easier to prove in civil court than in criminal court. Prosecutors must establish intoxication beyond a reasonable doubt; plaintiffs’ attorneys must not do much more than establish consumption.
Drowsy driving is especially a problem among truckers, tour bus drivers, and other large commercial vehicle operators. Sometimes, these drivers stay on the road for long periods of time. Most shipping companies pay their drivers by the load and not by the mile.
Others, especially tour bus drivers to and from Las Vegas, drive very early in the morning and very late at night. Many people are naturally drowsy at these times, no matter how much sleep they got the night before.
Chemically, fatigue and alcohol affect the brain in much the same way. In fact, driving after eighteen consecutive awake hours is like driving with a .08 BAC. Moreover, just like drinking coffee does not cure impairment, rolling down the window does not cure drowsiness. Only time cures intoxication and only sleep cures fatigue.
Because it increases the force in a collision as well as the risk of a collision, speed is a factor in about a third of the fatal crashes in Las Vegas.
Speed multiplies stopping distance. A car traveling 60mph takes three times as long to stop as a car traveling 30mph. Speed also multiple force. A penny dropped from the top of the Empire State Building will not kill a person, but it will probably leave a very big welt.
Largely because of smartphones and social media, distracted driving is one of the fastest-growing problems on Las Vegas roads. There are lots of other examples as well, such as eating while driving and talking to passengers. But cell phones get most of the attention. They combine all three forms of distracted driving, which are:
- Visual (eyes off the road),
- Physical (hand off the wheel), and
- Mental (mind off the road).
Hands-free cell phones may be even worse. They still involve two of the three types of distraction. Plus, they give many drivers a false sense of security.
Count On an Experienced Lawyer
Most car crashes involve human error, negligence, and significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Las Vegas, contact Naqvi Injury Law. We do not charge upfront legal fees in negligence cases.