Pedestrian deaths in Las Vegas, as well as nationwide, are on the rise. A new study conducted by the Southern Nevada Health District has found that if you are a homeless person in Clark County, you are about 22 times more likely to be hit in a pedestrian accident than someone who is not homeless. Researchers did not speculate on a cause, but there were several troubling factors that they pointed out as part of this study. Nearly two-thirds of homeless victims in the study had a blood-alcohol concentration above the legal limit of 0.8, whereas with others that number was reduced to only one-third of the victims.
A study published July 18 in the Centers for Disease Control’s weekly report studied county death certificates and coroner records from 2008 to 2011 and recorded where homeless deaths occurred. They were clustered in the north-eastern part of the valley near several prominent homeless shelters. Homeless shelters tend to refuse to admit people who appear intoxicated, so this means that they often go out into the night under the influence and the chance of them getting hit by a car is greater. Safety experts also claim that the state of Las Vegas roads is driving up pedestrians deaths. They say that the broad thoroughfares with lanes numbering in the double digits and traffic lights up to a mile apart that only allow walkers to get halfway across the street before changing pose a risk for pedestrians homeless and non-homeless.
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The pedestrian problem can be eased somewhat with the introduction of educational classes or videos on television, but this rarely benefits homeless people. “It’s hard to reach the homeless population with radio or TV advertising because they are not watching” says Erin Breen, director of the Safe Community Partnership at UNLV’s Transportation Research Center. Researchers are looking at ways to reduce the rising numbers of pedestrians killed on Las Vegas roads. They have proposed the idea of pedestrian safety zones on busy roads and increased fines for drivers who endanger those trying to cross the street. “It’s always difficult investigating deaths, because you can’t talk to the person to get a better idea of what they were doing,” says the study’s lead author and former SNHD epidemiologist Kaci Hickox.
Accidents on the road are always devastating if death or injury is involved. If you are a pedestrian who was not at fault in a crash is important to know that you can exercise your legal rights. At Bernstein & Poisson in Las Vegas, we can help you build your case with our years of experience to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Call us or visit our website to book a free consultation.