Driving under the influence, speeding, distracted driving, and running red lights at intersections are among the main causes of car accidents in Las Vegas. All of these driver behaviors put motorists at risk on the roads of the city, which has a population of more than half a million people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Per the Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), a division of the Nevada Department of Public Safety, most Nevada traffic crashes happen in two urban areas. Las Vegas is one of them; the other is Reno. In its 2017 report, the OTS said Las Vegas represented nearly 80% of the state’s population but represented 60% of Nevada’s total traffic fatalities.
Zero Fatalities Nevada, the state’s initiative for traffic safety, highlights the problems on the roads of the city and its surrounding areas. It also spotlights several driver behaviors that pose a risk to motorists, pedestrians, and other road users in Nevada. Some are listed below.
It is never safe to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Operating a vehicle while intoxicated only increases the chances of a car accident happening. Zero Fatalities Nevada’s Always Drive Sober campaign reports that impaired driving is the number one cause of motor vehicle accidents, injuries, and fatalities in Nevada.
Marijuana, alcohol, and prescription pills are among the substances some drivers use. Per NRS §484C.020, driving under the influence is prohibited. The state considers a person too impaired to drive if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is 0.08% or higher.
Zero Fatalities Nevada also shares data from the Nevada Traffic Safety Crash Facts: Impaired Driving Crashes sheet, which reports that even though impaired driving fatalities and fatal crashes decreased between 2014 and 2018, more than 70% of those accidents happened on the roads in urban areas. Clark County, home to Las Vegas, reported more fatalities in that period than anywhere else in the state, according to the report.
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Drivers who operate vehicles above the posted speed limit break traffic laws and put others at risk of having an accident. Speeding appears to be a problem in Nevada, as it is involved in a third of all traffic vehicle deaths in the state, affecting drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists.
According to state data from the Nevada Traffic Safety Crash Facts: Speeding Crashes report, Clark County had the highest number of reported speeding-related crashes in the state.
Distracted driving is any behavior that takes your attention away from the road or your surroundings at any time. Driving while texting or using a cellphone is the image that most often comes to mind whenever distracted driving is mentioned.
However, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving can also include:
- Eating and/or drinking
- Grooming (e.g., brushing hair or putting on makeup)
- Talking to or watching passengers
- Reaching for items in other parts of the car while driving
- “Zoning out” and not paying attention to the road
- Adjusting a radio station or navigational device while driving
Nearly four percent of Nevada’s total traffic deaths were caused by distracted driving between 2014 and 2018, according to data from the Nevada Traffic Safety Crash Facts Distracted Driving Crashes report.
Failing to Heed Red Lights at Traffic Intersections
Drivers who are in a hurry disregard red lights and other traffic signals, injuring others who are in or near an intersection. According to the Nevada Traffic Safety Crash Facts Intersection Crashes report, crashes of this kind make up 31.2% of the state’s fatal traffic crashes in Nevada, and 42% of fatal crashes involved a vehicle hitting another vehicle at an angle.
Side-impact collisions can be deadly, as they affect the most vulnerable parts of a vehicle: the rear passenger doors.
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The main causes of car accidents in Las Vegas and Nevada overall could be prevented if people exercise more caution on the road. Car accidents are dangerous and costly. In the aftermath of a car accident, survivors sometimes have ongoing medical costs for severe injuries, property damage expenses, lost wages, and other losses.
If you have been in a car accident in the Las Vegas area and are seeking legal representation to hold the other driver in your accident responsible, Bernstein & Poisson can review your situation and explain your legal options. Call us today for a free case review at (702) 633-3333.