Texting and Driving Laws in Las Vegas: What You Need to Know
Texting while driving is not only dangerous, but it’s illegal in Nevada. Whether you’ve been in an accident because another driver was texting or you want to avoid causing an accident, you need to know the ins-and-outs of texting and driving laws in Las Vegas. Below we provide a general overview of Las Vegas texting and driving laws, exceptions to the rule, consequences drivers who text sometimes face, and what you can do if you suffer injuries in a traffic accident because a careless driver was texting.
Nevada’s Handheld Cellphone Ban
Nevada was one of the first states to jump on the no texting and driving bandwagon. Since 2012, Nevada drivers cannot text, read email, manually type, or hold their phone to their ear to talk while driving. The Nevada Department of Transportation states that drivers are four times more likely to crash while talking on a cell phone. Additionally, texting or talking delays reaction times as much as driving under the influence of alcohol. Drivers who do not comply with the ban face up to a $250 fine, double if they are in a work zone. Although NDOT advises against it, using a hands-free device while driving is still permitted in Las Vegas and throughout Nevada.
Exceptions to Nevada’s Cellphone Ban
Nevada’s handheld cellphone ban does account for certain professions and situations that require cellphone use. Exceptions to the ban include:
- Firefighters, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, ambulance attendants, and others providing emergency medical services who are acting within the scope of their employment can use a cellphone while driving.
- Police officers or anyone designated by the sheriff, chief of police, or Department of Public Safety who is acting within the scope of employment can also use cellphones while driving.
- People responding to a situation to protect the health and welfare of the driver or other person and who cannot safely stop a vehicle may use cellphones while driving.
- Federal Communications Commission (FCC) licensed radio operators providing communication services during a disaster or emergency can use a cellphone while driving a motor vehicle.
- Public utility workers using a work phone to respond to dispatch can also use handheld cellphones while operating a vehicle.
Evidence to Prove a Driver Was Texting or Driving
Whether you find yourself in traffic court because you received a ticket for texting and driving or you end up bringing a lawsuit against a driver who was texting and caused an accident, the lawyers involved in these criminal and civil cases will typically review the following evidence:
- Phone records. A look at a driver’s phone records will reveal if he or she was having a conversation or sent a text at the time of an accident or ticket.
- Surveillance videos. If the driver who was texting was in a busy area, it’s likely nearby surveillance videos from a store, office building, casino, or hotel might have caught the misdeed on camera.
- Photos. Las Vegas is a busy city with many residents and tourists. Sometimes bystanders notice drivers breaking the law, take photos, and report them.
- Eyewitnesses. Similarly, bystanders and eyewitnesses who watched an accident occur sometimes notice if one or both drivers were using a handheld cellphone.
Consequences of Texting and Driving in Las Vegas
Those who do not comply with Nevada’s ban put others who share the road at risk for accident and injury. Not only does this include other motorists, but cyclists and pedestrians too. Aside from causing a potentially dangerous accident, other consequences of texting and driving include:
- A $50 fine for a first-time offender, $100 fine for a second offense, and $250 fine for the third offense within seven years.
- A ticket for texting while driving in Las Vegas will likely cause an increase in a driver’s auto insurance premiums.
- Nevada gives drivers, including those with commercial driver’s licenses, one freebie in terms of points, but once a driver has a second texting a driving ticket, he or she receives four demerit points on their driver’s license. A total of 12 points within a year leads to a six-month license suspension.
- CDL holders must notify their employers of a texting and driving ticket within 30 days, potentially leading to negative professional consequences.
- CDL holders who have two texting and driving tickets within three years face a two-month license suspension for violating federal laws about CDL drivers using cellphones while driving.
Seeking Compensation for Damages After an Accident Caused by Texting
If a careless driver starts texting and crashes into you, Nevada law permits you to seek compensation for damages related to the accident and your injuries. In the event you reach a settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier or you sue in civil court and the court awards you damages, you may receive compensation for:
- Medical treatment costs including ambulance, emergency room visit, hospital stay, radiology, surgery, followup visits, medication, and travel to and from the doctor/hospital
- Rehabilitation costs such as visiting a physical therapist or occupational therapist to regain lost functions and cope with any permanent injuries
- Estimated future medical treatment costs if the accident leads to permanent injuries
- Lost wages from missing work
- Estimated future lost wages in the event of a catastrophic injury
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium with spouse
- Decreased quality of life
- Punitive damages
An experienced personal injury attorney can advise you on which specific damages apply to your case.
Contact the Experienced Nevada Car Accident Lawyers at Gina Corena & Associates
Texting and driving can lead to treacherous accidents that cause injuries for everyone involved. You should always avoid texting and driving in Las Vegas as to not cause an accident, but you must also beware of other drivers who choose to text and drive. If you have sustained injuries in a Las Vegas traffic collision as a result of a driver distracted by texting or other illegal cellphone use, contact the skilled Las Vegas car accident attorneys at Gina Corena & Associates online or at 702-680-1111 for a free case evaluation to discuss the details of your accident claim.