Drivers must obey Nevada’s detailed driving laws. The Nevada legislature passed the Rules of the Road, defining the safe driving behaviors applicable to all motorists and protecting the public. Failure to adhere to those laws can lead to accidents, injuries, and fatalities.
In this article, we review the most commonly violated Nevada driving laws in crash scenarios. If you sustained injuries in a car accident in Nevada from a driver breaking the Rules of the Road, you may have the right to receive significant compensation for your losses.
An experienced Las Vegas car accident lawyer can handle your claim and fight for you to receive compensation to cover your damages and move forward with your life.
Overview of Nevada Driving Laws
Chapter 484B of the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) enacts the laws in Nevada known as the Rules of the Road. Together with the other traffic-related provisions of the NRS, they outline the general behaviors that all drivers in Nevada must engage in on public highways, rural roads, city streets, thoroughfares, private roads, parking lots, and everywhere else motor vehicles operate.
The driving laws in Nevada set the expectations for a wide range of driving and traffic-related behaviors. Some of the categories of statutes include right-of-way policies, the significance of traffic signs and signals, speed limits, procedures for overtaking other vehicles and changing lanes, seat belt usage, and restrictions on cell phone use while driving.
Every driver in Nevada must know and follow the road rules. Breaking a driving law can constitute anything from a moving violation to a serious crime. Drivers who fail to obey the Rules of the Road face sanctions that include fines, loss of driving privileges, and criminal prosecution. They can also significantly increase the risk of causing devastating or deadly traffic accidents and facing civil liability for damages inflicted on injured crash victims.
Common Nevada Driving Law Violations in Traffic Accidents
Any violation of Nevada driving laws can cause a potentially deadly crash, but some breaches occur more frequently than others and trigger an accident. Here are some common driving law violations that routinely cause traffic accidents in Nevada.
Speeding/Driving Too Fast for Conditions
Speeding or driving too fast for the prevailing road conditions is one of the most common driving law violations in Nevada and nationwide. NRS 484B.600 mandates that Nevada drivers must not exceed the designated speed limit, adjusting their speeds according to the road, traffic, and weather conditions. A driver can violate Nevada driving laws even when obeying the speed limit if their speed endangers themselves and others.
Driving too fast increases the risk and severity of motor vehicle accidents. The risk of an accident rises as the speed of a vehicle increases because the more acceleration a car has, the less time and distance its driver has to react to an unexpected hazard. Speeding amplifies the forces at impact, which leads to higher rates of catastrophic or fatal injuries among vehicle occupants, increasing the severity of those crashes.
Failure to Yield the Right of Way
The requirements include:
- When two vehicles arrive at an intersection simultaneously, the one on the left must yield the right of way to the one on the right.
- Vehicles entering a road from an on-ramp, T-intersection, side street, driveway, or parking lot must yield to other vehicles already on the road.
- Traffic signals, stop signs, yield signs, and lane markings take priority over general right-of-way rules.
Any violation of these rules can trigger a severe accident. Enacting right-of-way regulations helps resolve traffic conflicts that may otherwise result in a collision. Nevada drivers unfamiliar with right-of-way rules or careless about obeying them risk causing crashes that leave victims with severe or fatal injuries.
Failure to Obey Traffic Signs/Signals/Lane Markings
Drivers must obey traffic signs, signals, and lane markings in Nevada. Failure to do so is a traffic code violation that often leads to accidents. Road signs, traffic signals, and lane markings are there to maintain orderly traffic flow and establish expectations among motorists on driver behavior. Drivers who ignore them increase the risk of causing side-impact (or T-bone) collisions, which are among the deadliest and most destructive of all traffic crashes.
Distracted Driving/Texting and Driving
Under NRS 484B.165, it is illegal to write a text message, access the internet, or use a hand-held cell phone while driving, as those actions prevent drivers from maintaining the visual, manual, and cognitive attention necessary for safe driving.
Drivers must also avoid other activities behind the wheel that could take their eyes from the road, hands from the wheel, or minds off the task of driving responsibly, such as eating and drinking, compulsively gazing away from the road, turning to talk to passengers, or adjusting audio or climate controls.
Driver distraction is a significant contributor to accidents in Nevada and nationwide. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that distracted driving caused over 3,500 traffic deaths, hundreds of thousands of injuries, and hundreds of millions (or more) in economic costs recently.
Following Too Closely
NRS 484B.127 bars drivers from following another vehicle "more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway."
Failure to comply with this rule can result in rear-end collisions.
Rear-end collisions have a reputation for being mere fender benders, but catastrophic consequences can result from this accident type. The damages are especially severe when they occur at high speeds or involve a crash between a large truck and a passenger vehicle.
Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
Nevada driving laws strictly prohibit driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs for a good reason. Drunk and drug-impaired driving can lead to severe and fatal car accidents. Reckless and irresponsible drivers who operate a vehicle after consuming drugs or alcohol face severe penalties, including steep fines, imprisonment, and significant civil liability for their actions if the accident harms you or another person or results in a tragic loss of life.
Nevada driving laws define aggressive driving as speeding while engaging in at least two of the following unsafe driving behaviors:
- Failing to obey an official traffic-control device, such as traffic signs, signals, or speed limits.
- Driving off the paved portion of the highway to overtake another vehicle on the right.
- Improper or unsafe driving on roads with marked lanes for traffic.
- Following another vehicle too closely.
- Failing to yield the right of way.
Aggressive drivers face enhanced civil—and potentially criminal—penalties in Nevada due to aggressive driving behaviors multiplying the risk of a dangerous accident and severe injuries.
Who Is Liable for Damages?
Any driver violating Nevada driving laws that cause an accident can be liable for the damages resulting from the crash. At-fault drivers are not the only ones who can owe compensation for an accident. Other individuals, businesses, or institutions could be liable for engaging in careless or reckless conduct that results in a crash.
These other parties might include:
- The employer of the at-fault driver if the accident occurs while the driver is on the job.
- The owner of the vehicle if the owner negligently entrusts their vehicle to unqualified, unfit, or irresponsible drivers.
- The automotive manufacturers if the manufacturer sells defective products that contribute to the accident.
- The social hosts if they were responsible for serving alcohol to an underage drunk driver.
- The government entities responsible for the design, construction, and maintenance of public roadways if the public roads have dangerous conditions or defects that contribute to accidents.
These are just some examples. Experienced Nevada car accident lawyers know never to assume that a driver is the only party responsible for causing a crash. Skilled car accident lawyers will investigate the evidence to uncover as many parties with liability as possible. The more they can identify, the greater the number of potential sources of compensation for your losses.
Potential Recoverable Damages
If you are a car accident victim in Nevada, you have the legal right to seek compensation for physical, emotional, and financial harm.
Every accident has unique damages, but the compensation you could receive from liable parties includes:
- Medical and other accident-related expenses.
- Lost income and job benefits.
- Loss of earning capacity.
- Physical pain and suffering.
- Emotional distress.
- Loss of enjoyment or quality of life.
- Scarring, disfigurement, and loss of bodily function.
You can also seek punitive damages for the liable party’s particularly reckless or malicious behavior. After a fatal Nevada traffic accident, the surviving spouse and close family members may seek wrongful death damages, including loss of financial support, companionship, guidance, and consortium from the deceased.
The types and amounts of compensation potentially recoverable depend on numerous factors, including the severity and personal consequences of your injuries, the strength of the evidence your lawyer can use to prove liability and damages, your lawyer's skill and reputation, and the financial resources (including assets and liability insurance coverage) of the liable parties.
Why Victims Should Always Hire a Nevada Car Accident Lawyer
After a car accident in Nevada, you will have enough to worry about without adding how to pay expenses and rebuild after an injury or loss. Having a Nevada car accident lawyer advocate for you can ensure you receive fair compensation for your damages.
Your skilled lawyer can:
- Answer your questions and explain your rights in an easy-to-understand manner.
- Investigate your accident, determining the events leading to the accident and who owes you damages.
- Evaluate your losses, ensuring you seek maximum compensation.
- Handle all communications and negotiations with insurance companies, ensuring they treat you fairly and pay an appropriate settlement.
- Litigate in court to present your claim to a judge and jury at trial if necessary.
Hiring a Nevada car accident lawyer is affordable regardless of your financial circumstances. Car accident injury lawyers in Nevada offer a free initial consultation where you can discuss your case with a knowledgeable legal professional without any financial commitment. Car accident lawyers can also represent you on a contingent fee basis.
Working on contingency means you only pay for their services if they obtain money for you. Please note that you may have to pay the court fees and costs of the opposition in the event of a loss.
Contact an Experienced Nevada Car Accident Lawyer Today
Drivers who violate Nevada's driving laws risk causing accidents that inflict pain and loss on multiple innocent victims. If you or a loved one sustained injuries in a car accident, you can pursue compensation from the at-fault drivers and liable parties for your losses.
Hiring an experienced personal injury law firm in Las Vegas, Nevada is the most reliable way to maximize your chances of fair compensation after suffering losses in a car accident. Contact a skilled Nevada car accident lawyer today for a free consultation and to learn more about how they can help you recover after a car accident.