Las Vegas is one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States, with an overall metropolitan population of over 2 million residents. Las Vegas is also famous for its nickname “Sin City”. It’s one of the few places in the United States that serves up alcohol around the clock. You can walk around anywhere in Las Vegas, 24 hours a day, and drink alcohol, and many people do. You can also find liquor stores all around the area that sell alcohol 24 hours a day.
This easy access to alcohol and the party culture contributes to numerous vehicle accidents each year. Stats show that from 2013 through 2017, more than 700 people sustained severe injuries, and 359 died as a result of alcohol-related accidents. Most of the culprits blamed for this serious trend are male drivers between the ages of 21 to 35. Most of these serious accidents happen at night, after 9 p.m. and peak on the weekends. Driving around Las Vegas on a Saturday night near midnight is a risky endeavor.
Accident Trend Affecting Las Vegas Motorists
Now, there is a new accident trend affecting Las Vegas motorists just as much as intoxicated drivers. That is the thousands of distracted drivers plaguing the roads. Almost every driver has witnessed in recent years another vehicle that swerves in traffic or is in the fast lane on the freeway going well below the speed limit. When you pass them up, their attention is on their cellphone, not driving.
In years past, the culprit would likely be an intoxicated driver, but not anymore. These days, thanks to cell phone addiction, people simply cannot put their phones down while driving. This had led to a growing trend of distracted driving accidents all over the Las Vegas valley. When you combine a high rate of intoxicated motorists in “Sin City” coupled with distracted rivers, it makes for a dangerous combination on Vegas roads.
It also has caused a spike in auto insurance rates. According to GoodtoGoInsurance.org, Las Vegas drivers pay about $1,560 on average annually for auto insurance coverage. This is much higher than the national average for auto insurance rates, which is about $980. Each time an intoxicated or distracted driver in Las Vegas gets into an accident, it causes car insurance premiums to go up for everyone. This is, of course, unfair for the safe, law-abiding drivers who end up needlessly paying more for auto insurance coverage. This trend of higher automobile premiums is likely to continue, as accidents have increased in recent years.
It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while Using a Cellphone
In 2012 laws were put into place that prohibited drivers from using their cell phones while operating a vehicle. This includes sending messages, texting, reading emails, or making and receiving phone calls while driving. Officers need no other reason to stop a vehicle, other than recognizing a motorist using a cell phone while driving. Penalties start from $50 for a first-time offense to over $250 and a suspension of a driver’s license for up to six months. Devices that use hands-free technology, including voice commands, such as GPS maps, are approved and legal.
Here are some additional statistics on distracted driving that should alarm all Las Vegas drivers.
- Over 2.5 million people get into car crashes accidents yearly. The leading cause of these accidents is now distracted driving. New stats point out that over 1,000 people are injured each day in accidents that are related to or caused by distracted driving. While strict laws have been put in place in most states, many drivers just ignore them.
- Distracted Driving Fatalities Are on the Rise. Statistics point out that vehicular related deaths are on the rise, and a major contributor is distracted drivers. The main thing motorists are distracted by are their phones. Modern smartphones light up like a Christmas tree when someone receives a new text message, new like, Facebook message, or Twitter feed. Many people, despite the traffic conditions or speed at which they are traveling, just can’t keep their eyes off their cell phones. It has become a nationwide addiction. While lawmakers have made attempts at passing laws to punish these distracted drivers, people are still dying everyday in increasing numbers.
- Multitasking in the car. Some people are not only distracted with their cell phones in the car, but some irresponsible motorists try doing multiple things, all while driving. This includes eating, talking on the cell phone, changing the stereo, and even playing with a pet, all while trying to focus on the road. Every task you do behind the wheel takes away from your ability to concentrate on driving safely. This, of course, leads to serious collisions and even death.
- Your brain needs to focus while driving. An average person’s brain needs about 13 seconds of time to refocus on another surrounding area after a distraction. So, a person driving on the freeway that sends a short text message, and thinks that they are doing no harm, can end up getting into a major collision if traffic conditions change. Drivers need 13 seconds to readjust to the driving conditions around them after looking up. Using a cellphone while driving only leads to more accidents and innocent people getting insured and even dying.
Las Vegas is a party city that never sleeps and never slows down. In the future, the only way for serious intoxicated and distracted driving rates to decrease is for people to stop this dangerous activity and make the roads of Las Vegas safer for everyone.