Distracted drivers are a leading cause of motor vehicle accidents and fatalities in the United States. Surveys conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety in 2018 show that it is a growing concern among drivers. Further, data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that these concerns aren’t unfounded and the number of distracted driving accidents in the country is on the rise. Thus, drivers must take the time to inform themselves of the risks and take proactive steps to avoid causing an accident.
Cellphone use while driving is one of the most common driving distractions. In 2018, more than 60.5% of drivers acknowledged talking on the phone while driving. Additionally, many read text messages while they drive. In all, roughly 44.9% read text messages or emails behind the wheel, and 34.6% sent a text message or email while behind the wheel.
Since 2011 in Nevada, it has been illegal to talk or text with a handheld device while driving. And, while it is legal to use hands-free devices, these are still distractions that can significantly increase the risk of a crash. Thus, it is best to avoid using any phone while driving in Las Vegas or along other roads in Nevada.
Other common driving distractions include reading GPS devices, adjusting music and other comfort controls, talking to passengers, reading billboards, “daydreaming,” reaching for objects, eating, drinking, or smoking.
Dangers of Distracted Driving
Any driving distraction that takes the driver’s attention away from the road ahead and the surrounding vicinity can create a significant risk of a motor vehicle accident. Drivers may miss stop signs, fail to notice a changing light, miss a child darting into the road, or fail to see a vehicle changing lanes in front of them.
It only takes a fraction of a second for a motor vehicle accident to occur. By the time the driver turns away from the distraction, it’s usually too late to prevent a collision. Drivers have a duty of care to other motorists, their passengers, pedestrians, and others to maintain a sharp focus on the road and nothing else. Failing to do so can have fatal consequences that are easily avoided by simply paying attention and staying alert for changing road conditions, traffic signals, obstructions in the road, and the movements of others in the vicinity.