Here we’ll review nationwide and Nevada-specific pedestrian accident statistics and provide tips to help you avoid pedestrian accidents involving motor vehicles. You can contact our firm, Anthem Injury Lawyers, if you have been the victim in a pedestrian accident in and around Las Vegas.
Many people in the Las Vegas area and across the United States walk as a form of exercise or as a form of transportation. While walking is a great way to get from one place to another, pedestrians are highly vulnerable when walking on our nation’s roads.
Every year, thousands of pedestrians are seriously injured or killed while walking down the street.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 5,977 pedestrians killed in traffic crashes in 2017. This was a 1.7% decrease in the number of pedestrians who were killed during the same period in 2016.
Why are these tragedies happening? Can anything be done to prevent them from happening?
Nevada Pedestrian Accident Statistics
In Nevada alone, 353 pedestrians lost their lives on roadways between 2012 and 2016. An additional 720 pedestrians were seriously injured in Nevada during the same time period.
This high number of pedestrian fatalities and injuries is a huge concern. To address this concern, the Nevada Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) has set a goal of achieving zero fatalities. This strategic plan examines who is involved in pedestrian accidents, where and when these crashes occurred, and why these accidents happened.
The SHSP found that middle-aged males between the ages of 46 and 55 years old were most likely to be fatally wounded or seriously injured in a pedestrian accident.
The report concluded that most pedestrian accidents happened midblock in a roadway (51 percent of the time). Other places where pedestrian accidents happened included:
- At an intersection with a crosswalk – 28 percent
- On a sidewalk – 10 percent
- At an intersection with no crosswalk – 5 percent
- Median (not on shoulder) – 2 percent
- Crosswalk (no intersection) – 2 percent
- Shoulder – 2 percent
The most dangerous day for pedestrian accidents was Friday, with a total of 170 fatalities and serious injuries between 2012 and 2016. Thursday was the next most dangerous day with 166 pedestrian fatalities and serious injuries. Saturday was the third most dangerous day with 143 fatalities and injuries.
The SHSP concluded that the most significant contributing factor to pedestrian accidents was improper roadway crossings (46 percent). Other significant contributing factors included:
- Darting into the roadway – 16 percent
- Fail to yield the right-of-way – 10 percent
- Not visible – 10 percent
- Lying illegally in roadway – 6 percent
- Inattentiveness – 6 percent
- Failure to obey traffic signs – 6 percent
- Wrong side of roadway
Nevada Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) Initiatives
The Nevada Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) has identified several strategies to reduce pedestrian fatalities and serious injury crashes.
These strategies include:
- Reducing speeds along the corridors with the highest pedestrian activity and/or potential for crashes
- Implementing complete street projects
- Reducing pedestrian exposure through things like: bulb-outs, median refuge, and narrower pavement width
- Modifying the timing of traffic signals to accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists
- Providing lighting at pedestrian crossing locations
- Collaborating on and supporting pedestrian safety awareness campaigns
- Collaborating on and providing support for programs that promote walking or biking to school and including safety education for school children and their parents
- Providing and publicizing targeted law enforcement events where law enforcement can educate and ticket noncompliant motorists and pedestrians
- Prioritizing and planning legislation that supports pedestrian safety
While these are all important initiatives, it’s also important for all road users to do their part to prevent pedestrian accidents in Las Vegas and the surrounding area.
How can drivers in Las Vegas help prevent pedestrian accidents? And how can pedestrians do their part?
Below are some important pedestrian safety tips for drivers and traffic safety tips for pedestrians.
Pedestrian Safety Tips for Drivers in Las Vegas
If you are driving, there are plenty of things that you can do to help keep reduce the amount of pedestrian accidents.
- Always be on the lookout for pedestrians.
- Exercise extra caution in inclement weather.
- Take extra care at night, when it is more difficult to see pedestrian traffic.
- Drive slowly when turning or passing through a crosswalk.
- Yield to pedestrians when they have the right-of-way.
- Never pass a vehicle that is stopped at a crosswalk. There may be pedestrians in the crosswalk that you can’t see.
- Always follow the speed limit, especially in school zones and in residential neighborhoods where there may be children present.
- Take care when backing up. Check all of your mirrors and your blind spots to ensure there are no pedestrians in your path.
- Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Avoid driving when you are tired. Driving while drowsy is extremely dangerous and can result in injury to other drivers and other road users like pedestrians and bicyclists.
- Avoid distracted driving. This includes texting, talking on the phone, eating and drinking, adjusting the radio or GPS, or anything that takes your attention off the road.
Traffic Safety Tips for Pedestrians
If you are walking in an area in Las Vegas where you are sharing the road with vehicles, there are many things that you can do to lower your risk of being involved in a pedestrian accident.
These things include:
- Wear bright colors or reflective clothing or safety gear that is made out of reflective materials.
- Obey the rules of the road – do not jaywalk.
- Walk on sidewalks whenever you can. If they are available, they are the safest place to walk.
- If there is no sidewalk, walk so that you are facing traffic.
- Stay as far from traffic as possible.
- Do not use electronic devices that distract you from the road.
- When you cross the street, use crosswalks. If there are no crosswalks, try to cross at an intersection. While it may be tempting to cross in the middle of the block, this is where many injuries occur.
- Always look both ways before crossing the road. Continue looking both ways until safely across the street.
- If you cannot find a crosswalk or intersection, cross in an area that is well-lit.
- Make eye contact with drivers if you can to ensure that they see you.
- Be cautious when walking near driveways or in parking lots. There may be cars turning or backing up.
- Avoid drugs or alcohol that impair your judgment. This can include prescription and over-the-counter medications. Be sure to read labels carefully so that you are aware or any potential side effects.
- Avoid texting and using the internet or social media on your cell phone while you are walking. Being on your cell phone may prevent you from noticing a dangerous obstacle or a vehicle that is about to crash into you.
- Turn off the volume of headphones or take them off before crossing the street.
- Teach child pedestrians to be safe and look both ways before crossing the street. Make sure that kids know that they should always cross the street with an adult. Set a good example for your children by putting your phone, headphones, and other electronics down when around vehicles.
Experienced Las Vegas, NV Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
Even if you take all of the precautions in the world, a pedestrian accident can still happen. We encourage you to review the pedestrian safety tips we’ve provided here, and to make others aware of the risks that pedestrians face in and around Las Vegas. Everyone can do their part to reduce pedestrian accidents involving motor vehicles.
If you or a loved one was injured in a pedestrian accident in the Las Vegas area and you’d like to speak with an experienced pedestrian accident attorney, contact Anthem Injury Lawyers today.
We offer free initial consultations. Our law office is in Henderson, but we work with clients all over the Las Vegas Valley. Call us at (702) 857-6000 to set up your free consultation or fill out our online contact form.