The marvel of the technological breakthrough of the automobile has long since passed. Most of us are completely comfortable behind the wheel of our vehicles and driving has become second nature to us. Unfortunately, sometimes we forget how dangerous a motor vehicle can be when not properly and attentively operated. Individuals who operate vehicles while attempting to “multi-task” can create all types of havoc on the roadways and can cause serious injuries to themselves and others. Some examples of distractions that impact our ability to maintain proper focus while driving include:
- Eating or drinking
- Changing clothes
- Applying cosmetics
- Adjusting the controls
- Web browsing
For most of these activities there is not a specific statute which prohibits them while driving. If a motor vehicle accident occurs, the individual engaging in these activities would be cited for the catch all, “Failure to Exercise Due Care.” (NRS 484B.603) However, Nevada has codified a specific statute to deal with the dramatic increase in accidents attributable to the use of electronic devices while driving.
1. Except as otherwise provided in this section, a person shall not, while operating a motor vehicle on a highway in this State:
(a) Manually type or enter text into a cellular telephone or other handheld wireless communications device, or send or read data using any such device to access or search the Internet or to engage in nonvoice communications with another person, including, without limitation, texting, electronic messaging and instant messaging.
(b) Use a cellular telephone or other handheld wireless communications device to engage in voice communications with another person, unless the device is used with an accessory which allows the person to communicate without using his or her hands, other than to activate, deactivate or initiate a feature or function on the device.
This statute makes it a misdemeanor to use a cellular device for texting or web browsing while driving. The penalties increase for repeat offenders. It is also almost a per se basis for negligence against a driver who causes an accident.
In litigation, requests for cellular telephone records is almost a standard practice. It allows the party to determine if the other driver was texting or talking on the phone at the time of the accident. In many cases this is sufficient for a jury, judge or arbitrator to find negligence against the party using their phone while driving. Public Service Announcements (PSA) frequently show the dangers of this activity but it continues to be a major problem – especially among younger users.
Have You Been Injured In An Accident With A Distracted Driver?
At Jones Wilson LLP we plead with you to avoid using your phone inappropriately while driving. The pain and suffering it can case to you outweighs any benefit you may receive from that “important” text message or “critical” web search. Nothing can justify endangering lives in a piece of machinery that is capable of injuring and/or killing people in a split second of inattention. If you have been the victim of a distracted driver, you are entitled to compensation and we at Jones Wilson LLP will be there for you to protect your legal rights.
Contact us online or call our Henderson office directly at 702.405.6000 to schedule your free consultation.