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Nevada’s anti-phone law is strict, but is it effective?

Nevada is one of the stricter states when it comes to preventing distracted driving on account of phones. Like a minority fraction of other states, Nevada’s laws prohibit motorists from using handheld phones for any purpose while driving.

This law not only so-called texting and driving, which really includes about any smartphone use, it also prohibits making a traditional cellular phone call with a handheld phone. Those who choose to break these laws face the possibility of fines even when there has been no accident.

These sorts of laws have been hailed as effective at reducing the number of injuries and deaths on the roads, and, indeed, for good reason. However, looking at how Nevada fares compared to the other states with respect to distracted driving, there may be some question as to how effective Nevada’s laws have been to this point.

Nevada’s rate of distracted driving is a bit below the national average, with the average motorist being distracted anywhere between 14 and 16 percent of his total driving time. However, the fact that drivers in this state are not paying attention to the road about 15 percent of the time is quite frankly disturbing in of itself. Moreover, several nearby states, which also have complete bans on handheld phones, have better percentages.

In order to prevent serious car accidents, the state, the City of Reno, and the surrounding communities may need to step up enforcement of measures aimed to curb distracted driving. New laws and further penalties may also be needed. In any event, though, a Nevada victim of a distracted driver can and perhaps even should consider holding the driver accountable through the appropriate civil lawsuit.


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