We live in an increasingly distracted world. To be sure, there are times when distraction is a good thing – like when tourists come to Las Vegas to get away from the cares of everyday life. But distraction can also be dangerous, especially behind the wheel.

That’s why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration designated April as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. According to a press release, the NHTSA is working with local law enforcement agencies around the country to educate the public about the dangers posed by texting and other common driving distractions. Many law enforcement agencies are also cracking down on cellphone use behind the wheel as part of an initiative called “U Drive. U Text. You Pay.”

Nevada is among the majority of states to have banned texting while driving. But we are one of just 17 states to also prohibit use of a handheld cellphone while driving. While the practice is often viewed as relatively safe, that view is inaccurate. According to statistics cited on the Nevada DOT website, a driver using a handheld device is up to four times more likely to be involved in an injurious crash.

As you are driving in Summerlin or other parts of the greater Las Vegas area this month, don’t be surprised to see more police officers making traffic stops and issuing citations for distracted driving. And remember that the greatest risk of distracted driving is not a financial one. Staying focused on the road is literally a life or death decision.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured (or worse) by a distracted driver, you don’t have to suffer alone. Please speak to an experienced personal injury attorney about your rights and legal options.