Distracted Driving

Do you talk on the phone while driving?  Even hands free you are distracted.  Do you text while driving?  Some research shows voice to text is more distracting than typing it yourself.   There are startleing statistics to back up the distracted driving phenomenon. 

In 2015 3,477 lives were lost as a direct consequence of distracted driving according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  Even more alarming 391,000 were injured.  And distracted driving isn’t just mobile phones.  Anything that takes your eyes and or mind off the road while driving is a distraction. 

Some other ways you may be distracted:

·         Reaching for something you dropped or you need that’s out of reach

·         Reading directions

·         Putting on makeup or fixing your hair

·         Eating

·         Children crying or fighting

While none of those things are illegal they still pull your mind and your eyes from the road.

Here in Nevada it is illegal to text, access the internet or use a cell phone while driving.  The fines are $50 for a first offense, $100 for a second and $250 for a third.  But, the court has the ability to assess higher fines and add on administrative fees. 

There are some exceptions which include:

·         Reporting a medical emergency, safety hazard or criminal activity.

·         Using a voice operated navigation system affixed to the vehicle

·         2 way radios

·         Law enforcement, fire fighters or emergency medical personnel acting in the scope of their jobs

·         Utility workers responding to an outage or emergency and suing devised provided by the company.

·         Amateur radio operators providing communications services during and emergency or disaster.

How can you help eliminate distracted driving?

·         Be an example to your kids and friends.  Don’t use your phone while you drive.

·         Implement strict rules for your teen drivers.

·         Refuse to ride with someone who habitually drives distracted.

Distracted driving is a problem we can all help solve.  And better drivers mean fewer accidents and better rates for everyone.

Contributed by Victoria Sutherland, Licensed Insurance Agent