Las Vegas Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian safety and pedestrian accidents in Las Vegas are getting a lot of attention. Pedestrian fatalities on our roads have reached a staggering height, you could say they’re reaching epidemic proportions. Fifty pedestrians attempting to cross roadways in Clark County lost their lives last year, and this year has not started off well. Nevada Highway Patrol has already reported thirteen traffic-related fatalities in less than three weeks at the start of year 2015. Of the thirteen killed, seven were pedestrians. Las Vegas ranks as the 13th most dangerous city in the nation for pedestrian crashes. The same study also found that from 2003 to 2012, 540 Nevadans were killed while walking, 413 of those happened right here in the Las Vegas Valley.
Since the number of hit-and-run accidents, pedestrian deaths and DUI arrests are on the rise, the Southern Nevada Traffic Safety Committee has formed a Traffic Safety Group, consisting of law enforcement officials, community leaders and civil engineers to meet four times a year since 2012. Their charter is to come up with ways to cut down on roadway accidents. The latest Joining Forces Impaired Driving campaign involved Las Vegas Metro Police setting up DUI checkpoints in its effort to reduce impaired driving on our roadways. On Super Bowl Sunday, which is considered one of the deadliest days for fatal car crashes, Metro Police made 28 arrests at a DUI checkpoint that night on Blue Diamond Road just west of Decatur Boulevard.
During the month of February, officers will be targeting several intersections and crosswalks using what they call a “pedestrian decoy” operation. This is where an officer in civilian attire walks across the crosswalk and call out drivers and vehicles who fail to yield the right of way to a pedestrian in the crosswalk. An operation like this heightens public awareness in educating drivers of the importance of the pedestrian safety laws and has proven to be very successful in the past.
Other ways in which the city of Las Vegas is working to make roadways safer for pedestrians and help prevent pedestrian accidents, is in making improvements to the lighting at several intersections. However such improvements won’t help much if a pedestrian isn’t paying attention. It’s important to remember that safety is a responsibility we all share. Nevada’s Traffic Safety Group and officers from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department will increase the enforcement of Nevada’s pedestrian safety laws on drivers and pedestrians who ignore traffic and pedestrian safety laws.
The following are some pedestrian safety tips provided by the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) to help Las Vegans stay safer on our roads:
Pedestrian Safety Tips to Help Prevent Pedestrian Accidents:
- Crosswalk safety. First, use intersections and marked crosswalks only. And even when you utilize a crosswalk and follow the rules, still lookout for oncoming traffic until you’ve reached the other side of the road. Never assume just because you have the right of way you can always cross safely. This mindset could put you in unnecessary danger, as a vehicle will win in that situation, even if they’re in the wrong.
- Make eye contact with drivers. Before stepping into the street to cross, make sure you look at the oncoming drivers to be sure they are paying attention. Distracted drivers is also a big issue on our Las Vegas Valley roads. So this extra precaution could save your life.
- Time of day matters. Most pedestrian crashes occur between dusk and dawn. During these times of day try to, wear bright clothing or accessories that can be seen at night.
- Avoid high-risk intersections when possible. A 2014 study by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department determined the most dangerous intersections. Many motorists often just look for cars, they don’t look for pedestrians, bicycle riders, or people on motorcycles. So be extra careful if you must cross in these Las Vegas dangerous intersections.
Driver Safety Tips to Help Prevent Pedestrian Accidents:
- Speed and road conditions. Obey speed limits and know when conditions warrant even slower speeds, i.e. when there’s bad weather like rain or fog or in areas where streets are not well lit.
- Intersections and crosswalks. Check intersections and crosswalks for waiting pedestrians, and yield to them. Pedestrians have the right of way. Be sure to follow the law.
- Pay attention. Pay full attention to side streets and driveways that are sometimes hard to see. At the last minute, you may spot a pedestrian, so slow down.
The Nevada Department of Transportation advises pedestrians and motorists to please stay alert as we share the roads, and abide by the laws created to protect all road users.