Speeding and distracted driving are two of the biggest threats to highway safety, both in Nevada and throughout the United States. Engaging in either of these behaviors substantially increases the risk of a serious car accident. Still, many Nevada drivers choose to ignore these dangers in favor of rushing to their destination or texting while driving.
Nevada law enforcement agencies have been working hard to combat this problem. This summer, more than 24 state and local departments banded together to launch a “Joining Forces” campaign against speeding and distracted driving.
The campaign, which was funded by a grant from the Nevada Department of Public Safety’s Office of Traffic Safety, involved a statewide deployment of traffic enforcement saturation patrols on the hunt for dangerous drivers. The patrols were on the road both day and night between August 2 and August 13.
The campaign appears to have been quite effective. Although not all jurisdictions have released their results, Washoe County’s experience serves as an illustrative example. There, police officers issued 418 citations during the 12-day enforcement sweep. A total of 222 citations were issued for speeding violations and 14 stemmed from illegal cellphone use. The remainder of the tickets were for an assortment of violations including red light-running, driving without insurance, equipment violations and not wearing seat belts.
Many people speed or drive distracted because they do not realize just how dangerous these behaviors can be. Unfortunately, far too many Nevada drivers find it easier to prioritize their own immediate desires than to consider the safety of others on the road.
This comes at a great cost. According to the National Safety Council, speeding claims more than 13,000 lives throughout the United States every year. In construction zones, speeding is a factor in nearly one-quarter of all fatal accidents. Every year, speeding-related traffic accidents cost society more than $40 billion.
Cellphone-related distracted driving is a newer threat, but it is just as dangerous. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration operates a website designed to educate motorists about the risks of distracted driving, some of which may come as a surprise to drivers accustomed to using their cellphones behind the wheel. For example:
Drivers who are injured in accidents caused by speeding or distracted driving may be entitled to financial compensation for damages including medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. After a crash, a Las Vegas personal injury attorney can help accident victims understand their rights.
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