According to statistics recently published by the Nevada Department of Transportation, there’s been an uptick in car accidents across the state – a total of 302 reported crashes in 2016 compared to 297 in the previous year. There was also a slight uptick in fatal and injury-causing wrecks, with a total of 327 traffic-related deaths in 2016.
These numbers and the increase in wrecks and fatalities are cause for concern for many officials, particularly because the Nevada DOT initiated a program more than 10 years ago to reduce deaths on public roads and highways. This program, known as Zero Fatalities, aims to achieve yearly declines in traffic-related deaths through public awareness efforts and policy change.
While educating the public about the importance of driving safely and encouraging them to obey the law is important, drivers all too often fail in their duty to be safe and reasonable when behind the wheel. As such, Nevada lawmakers are using the recent DOT data as reason to draft and propose new laws that can improve roadway safety. These include transportation safety bills that focus on the following:
- Increasing fines for distracted drivers, including motorists who use do not use a hands-free device when making calls or text messaging with their cell phones. Currently, drivers can face a $50 fine for a first offense, $100 if the offend again, and $250 fine for a third offense.
- Prohibiting novice drivers under the age of 18 from using a cell phone in any way, including prohibiting them from using hands-free devices while driving
- A primary law for seat belt use that enables law enforcement to stop and issue citations to drivers solely for failing to wear a seatbelt. Nevada is currently among just a few states with secondary seat belt laws. This means police can only issue citations for not wearing a seat belt when a driver has committed another traffic offense, such as running a red light.
- Revising laws regarding child safety seats to require safety seat use when children are under 4’9” or weigh less than 80 pounds, regardless of their age.
While hundreds of car accidents happen throughout the state each year, many of these crashes are preventable. As is often the case, the negligent or careless actions of other drivers, auto product manufacturers, and others on the road increase the risks for wrecks. Fortunately for those who are injured in auto accidents caused by another’s negligence, the civil justice system provides the opportunity for victims to hold at-fault parties accountable for their actions and liable for their damages.
At Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P., our Reno attorneys have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for victims injured in all types of traffic accidents, as well as for families that lost loved ones in preventable crashes. Backed by decades of combined experience, our legal team places an emphasis on helping victims pursue the full and fair amount of compensation they deserve.
If you or someone you love were recently hurt in a car accident, contact our firm for a FREE consultation.