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A Guide to Nevada Traffic Laws and Violations

Understanding traffic laws is crucial for all drivers in Nevada to avoid accidents, injuries, traffic stops, and legal penalties. For those unfamiliar or needing a refresher, here is an overview of the key information on traffic laws and violations in Nevada, along with guidance on what to do if you’re ever in an accident.

Speed Limits

Speed limits vary considerably on Nevada’s roads and highways. Generally, limits fall into these ranges:

  • Freeways: 75 mph in rural areas, 65 mph in urban areas
  • Major Roads and Highways: 70 mph
  • School Zones/School Crossing Zones: 15-25 mph
  • Residential Streets: 30 mph

Speed limits are clearly posted, and you could receive a speeding ticket if you are found to be driving over these limits. Fines and severity increase the farther over the limit you go. Reckless driving over 100 mph could also lead to license suspension. Always keep a close eye on speed limit signs, especially when transitioning between freeway exits and surface streets.

Some key reasons to observe speed limits include:

  • Improved reaction times – Speeding reduces the time you have to brake or steer around road hazards or other vehicles. At slower speeds, you have more time to take corrective action.
  • Shorter stopping distances – The faster your drive, the longer the braking distance. At 65 mph vs. 35 mph, stopping distances are 270 feet vs. 140 feet on average.
  • Decreased crash severity – Collisions at lower speeds cause less force and reduce injury likelihood and severity. A 10 mph decrease cuts the fatal crash risk by 40%.

Beware of speed traps often utilized on highways outside Las Vegas. Tactics like aircraft enforcement and concealed SUV patrol units with radars make speed limit compliance essential to avoid tickets.

Seat Belt and Car Seat Laws

Nevada has strict seat belt laws requiring all vehicle occupants 16 or older to wear a seat belt. Passengers under 18 must wear a seat belt or use an age-appropriate car seat or booster seat. Violating seat belt laws could lead to fines around $25-$50 plus associated court fees.

Proper seat belt use keeps you correctly positioned in an accident so that the airbags provide the full benefit. Seat belts also prevent ejections, which are far more likely to cause serious or fatal injuries. Studies show seat belts reduce severe injury and fatality risk by 50-75% depending on the type of crash.

Child car seats must adhere to size and age guidelines based on Nevada laws and American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations:

  • Infants/toddlers under 2 should remain rear-facing with adequate recline until exceeding height/weight limits.
  • Toddlers over 2 meeting minimum size criteria can transition to forward-facing seats with harnesses.
  • Older children who outgrow forward-facing seats typically move to belt-positioning booster seats until they are tall enough for proper belt positioning without the booster’s help.

Phone and Texting Laws

Using a handheld phone for calls or texting while driving is illegal for all drivers in Nevada. You must use completely hands-free equipment to make calls. For texting, it is best not to handle your phone at all. While there are exceptions for emergencies or parked vehicles, violating these laws could lead to fines over $50 plus court fees for first offenses, with higher penalties for subsequent violations.

Impaired Driving Laws

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs brings some of the most severe legal penalties in Nevada. For alcohol, legal limits are blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% for drivers 21 and over and 0.02% for drivers under 21. For marijuana, ANY detectable level of THC in the blood is grounds for an impaired driving charge.

First-time DUI convictions can include jail time, rehab programs, steep fines and court fees, revoked licenses, and ignition interlock device requirements just to get restricted driving ability back. Penalties escalate sharply for repeat offenses. A felony DUI charge is possible on the third offense within seven years or if someone is seriously injured or killed as a result of drunk or drugged driving.

What to Do After an Accident

No one expects accidents when hitting the road, but being prepared on the next steps can help reduce stress if you end up in a collision. Generally, you should:

  1. Assess the situation – Check to see if you or anyone else is injured and call 911 immediately if medical care is required. Only render assistance if you can safely do so.
  2. Contact law enforcement – All accidents involving major vehicle damage, injuries, or deaths require contacting the police for a report. Move your vehicles to a safe location out of traffic first if possible.
  3. Exchange information – You will need to exchange names, phone numbers, insurance details, license plate numbers, and other relevant information with the other drivers. Get witness contact info too.
  4. Document the scene – Use your smartphone to take photos capturing damage to vehicles and the accident scene from different angles. These could be crucial later for determining fault or claim values.
  5. Report your claim – Always contact an accident attorney first to get advice on dealing with an insurance company, then notify your insurance provider to start your claims process rolling. Provide them with details of the accident and follow their guidance for getting estimates, vehicle repairs, medical treatment, and handling at-fault claims. Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys can help maximize your recovery amounts and ease legal processes. We bring valuable expertise with Nevada traffic laws and accident claims.
  6. Seek medical attention – Even if you don’t notice injuries right away, see a doctor after any significant collision. Symptoms of sprains, whiplash, concussions or other problems often emerge hours or days later. Thorough diagnosis and treatment is key.
  7. Save all documentation – Keep copies of accident reports, medical records related to your injuries, repair estimates, and any associated bills or other accident-related paperwork. These help verify losses when pursuing insurance claims.

By taking prudent steps if an unfortunate accident occurs, you can aim for the best possible outcome during a stressful scenario. And remember to reach out to Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys, the best car accident attorneys in Nevada if the accident is caused by another driver’s traffic violation.

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