In some states, it’s legal to talk on the phone while driving but if you’re driving through Nevada, watch out. In this state, talking on a hand held phone is considered illegal and law enforcement has proved that they will find you. Last year, Nevada Highway Patrol issued close to 12,000 tickets for people that
were driving while using their cell phones. This means that people were either using a hand held phone looking at their phones in traffic or at a stop light. Texting and browsing the internet are also illegal and for good reason. Anytime you’re on your phone, your mind is elsewhere which makes it difficult to concentrate on the task at hand: driving.
For many people in Nevada, this was their first cell phone violation which carries a fee of $112. But some people never learn and Nevada police issued second and third offenses for many people. The more violations you rack up, the more expensive the ticket becomes. Getting a second violation will run you $192 and a third violation nearly doubles the penalty, coming in at $352. Not to mention that when you receive multiple tickets of any kind, your driving record is going to take a hit, which means higher premiums. Add it all up and that becomes a very expensive phone call or text message. Nevada still understands the importance of a cell phone and does allow hands free devices to be used. With the technology available today, it should be easy to find a system that could work for you but what’s the big deal about using a cell phone while you’re driving anyway?
Cell Phone Laws And Driving
Many states see treat distracted driving as a big deal and are working to restrict or completely ban cell phone use. Currently, ten states have banned talking on a hand held cell phone and if you travel a lot, you should pay attention to this list. States with bans include: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Washington, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) also reports that in 32 states and the District of Columbia, young drivers cannot use a cell phone at all, whether hand held or hands free devices.
Five states (Illinois, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas) all have partial bans on cell phones. This means that cell phone use is permitted in certain kinds of cases. The majority of states have also taken on the issue of texting and browsing the internet while driving and have much more forcefully passed laws banning these activities. Right now, 39 states and the District of Columbia bans texting while driving but trying to catch someone in this act is a little bit harder than eyeing someone that has a phone to their ear.
The Dangers of Cell Phone Use
Some people argue that any cell phone use is not good for the driver and other on the road and can impair someone as much as drinking a few beers and heading out on the road. The University of Utah conducted a study that found that even when drivers were talking on a hands held device for their cell phone, they were still not at optimum driving level. One of the study’s founders, Frank Drews, said,
“We found that people are as impaired when they drive and talk on a cell phone as they are when they drive intoxicated at the legal blood alcohol limit. If legislators really want to address driver distraction, then they should consider outlawing cell phone use while driving.”
Some of the major finds of the studies dealt with driver reaction time and how a cell phone impaired the driver. Undistracted, sober drivers were the control of
the group and when compared with others, the study found that “motorists who talked on either handheld or hand-free cell phones drive slightly slower, were 9 percent slower to hit the brakes, displayed 24 percent more variation in following distance a their attention switched between driving and conversing, were 19 percent slower to resume normal speed after braking and were more likely to crash. Three study participants rear-ended the pace car. All were talking on cell phones.”
Those are some pretty impressive statistics if you think about the number of people you see daily driving and talking on their cell phones. You may have even had a fender bender or came close to one because you were talking on your cell phone and we all know the potential danger it holds but continue to do it anyway.
Consequences of Driving and Talking
As states begin to look more closely at how talking on a cell phone and driving can lead to accidents, more of them may begin to outlaw all cell phone use and become more stringent in their enforcement. This means that you should do your best to stay up to date on cell phone laws in your state. Many police forces will try to get the word out before they start handing out tickets but ultimately, it is your responsibility to know the law and obey it. You can already see that Nevada’s ticket prices are nothing to balk out and that’s a good chunk of change coming out of your pocket for one phone call.
When you receive a ticket, if you are convicted, it will go onto your driving record. You better believe that your insurance company communicates with the DMV when they go to renew your rates, and if you have multiple violations, your insurance rates are going to go up. The best way to avoid these hikes is stay off the phone if your state has a ban and if they do not, always exercise precaution on the road. Now that you know how a cell phone can affect your driving habits, you might make it a personal choice to drive cell phone free.