Types of Driver Impairment in Nevada Car Crashes

In Nevada, driver impairment is the leading cause of most car crashes, and it results from anything that diminishes a person’s capacity to drive a car safely. Both preventing accidents and seeking damages in the aftermath of a crash are dependent on recognizing the type of impairment and how it caused the accident. These following types are some of the most common types of impairments:

Auto vehicle crash


Fatigue is a common type of impairment that results from exhaustion or sleep deprivation. This can result in a significantly reduced reaction time, judgment impairment, and an inability to stay attentive. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy drivers cause a significant number of accidents, injuries, and deaths every year: In 2021, drowsy driving was the cause of 684 deaths in traffic accidents, accounting for 1.6% of all fatalities on the road.

In Nevada, long stretches of highway and the allure of 24-hour entertainment options contribute to drivers pushing their limits, often underestimating the dangers of fatigue.


Distraction is another major form of driver impairment, and it involves any activity that distracts the driver from the task of driving. This includes use of the phone, eating, changing the radio, and talking to others while driving. The smartphone age has directly led to an increase in distracted driving and is a primary concern in Nevada, as it is in the rest of the country.

Drugs and Alcohol

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a well-known cause of impairment and significantly elevates the chances of crashes. Alcohol slows down cognitive functions and reaction times and various drugs may also affect the ability to focus, assess the situation, and control the vehicle.

Nevada law prohibits driving with a blood alcohol concentration above 0.08 percent and prohibits driving under the influence of controlled substances as well.

Nevertheless, driving while impaired continues to be a problem despite extensive law enforcement efforts and awareness campaigns.

Over-the-Counter Medication

Over-the-counter (OTC) medication, while widely regarded as safe for use without a doctor’s supervision, can also significantly impair a person’s ability to drive safely. Commonly used medications, such as antihistamines for allergies, cough syrups, and even some types of pain relievers, can cause side effects such as drowsiness, blurred vision, dizziness, or delayed reaction times.

Drivers might not always be aware of a medication’s potential impact on driving performance. It’s crucial for individuals to read and heed the warnings provided with OTC medications, especially if they plan to operate a vehicle, to prevent unintended impairments that could lead to traffic accidents.

Medical Conditions

A variety of medical conditions, from acute emergencies to chronic impairments in cognition or coordination, can impair driving capacity, such as epilepsy, diabetes, and even severe allergies can lead to sudden incapacitation, posing immediate risks to safe driving.

Physical Impairment

Physical disabilities and mobility limitations can directly impact a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely as well. These impairments may not allow the driver to fully control their vehicle, resulting in an inability to respond during critical driving decisions.

Understanding different types of impairment is critical in addressing the root causes of accidents on Nevada’s roads. If you’ve been injured by an impaired driver, securing legal representation from an experienced Las Vegas car accident lawyer can help you seek justice and compensation through personal injury claims. Reach out today to schedule a free consultation.

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