Cell phone usage has become increasingly prominent over the last decade – to the point where it is unusual not to own a cell phone. Unfortunately, as useful as cell phones can be, they have proven to be a serious danger in regards to driving. Cell phones are a huge distraction to drivers, which has led to a large increase in car accidents over the years. In 2014 alone, there were roughly 431,000 motor vehicle crash-related injuries and 3,179 deaths that involved distracted drivers. According to the Nevada Department of Transportation, there are an estimated 3,500 distraction-related car crashes every year, accounting for almost 20% of all car-related accidents taking place in Nevada each year.
Nevada Cell Phone Law
In 2011, Nevada Legislature passed legislation making it illegal to speak or text on a cell phone or any similar device (such as a tablet) while driving. If you are pulled over for using a cell phone while driving, you can be fined upwards of $250.
Cell Phone Safety Tips
Research has shown reaction times are delayed when you are using a cell phone while driving – almost as much as it would be if you were driving while legally drunk – even if using a hands-free method. In fact, you are four times as likely to crash when using your cell phone while driving. The following are safety tips to keep in mind to help prevent you from using your phone while driving:
- Keep your phone on silent while driving or put it in a place where you can’t reach it while driving, such as in your glove compartment, so you aren’t tempted to check it.
- If you are driving with a passenger, allow the passenger to answer the phone or respond to a text if it is urgent.
- Make any calls you need to make before you begin driving.
- If you need to make a call while driving, get off the road where it is safe to do so. For example, if you need directions to someone’s home, pull over at the nearest gas station or fast food restaurant and call from the parking lot.
- Download an app that blocks texts and calls while you drive. There are a number of different apps that do this, such as Drive Safe Mode, Live2Txt and Cellcontrol, to name a few. There are even apps available that provide you with rewards for not texting while driving, such as SafeDrive.
Avoid using your cell phone while driving not just to avoid potential fines, but to prevent road accidents as well.