Now that Fall is here, with the possibility of rainy streets and more pedestrian traffic out in the cooler temperatures, there’s no question that the most common areas for car accidents in Las Vegas in 2020 could see some impacts. Here’s some of what we think you’ll want to keep in mind.

Fatalities in January 2020

January 2020 held on to its atrocious vehicular accident record when 24 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes on Nevada’s roads. In Clark County, home to Las Vegas, the yearly fatalities decreased by one person from 2019. In 2020 the number of fatalities was 15. Even more frightening, pedestrian deaths in Clark County from car accidents doubled from four in 2019 to eight in 2020. There were a total of 12 pedestrian deaths in January 2020 throughout Nevada.

The following are examples of the crashes in Las Vegas in January 2020 alone: A motorcycle crash on Decatur and Diablokilled a woman. A man was killed near McCarran airport in a wrong-way DUI-related crash. A three-car accident on South Las Vegas Boulevard caused one death.

A pedestrian walking in front of the Encore Casino tripped and fell into the street and was killed by a car. An impaired driver hit and killed a pedestrian on Fremont Street. Another man was killed by a hit-and-run driver in East Las Vegas. Another pedestrian killed by a car on South 1 Vegas Boulevard.

The Effect of the Shutdown

There is some good news amid all the pandemic dangers. The state-wide shutdown in March 2020 to combat COVID-19 reduced fatal car crashes in Nevada by 50% to a total of 61 fatalities. Of those, 34 (56%) took place in Clark County. According to the Department of Public Safety most of the accidents were due to factors within human control: lack of seatbelt usage, impaired drivers, and excessive speed.

What are the most dangerous intersections?

A study by the University of Las Vegas found that the most dangerous intersection in Las Vegas is Sahara and Decatur.  The infamous intersection logged 50 car crashes that caused injuries in 2018 (the report was issued in the second half of 2019).

The next most dangerous intersection with almost as many crashes was Rainbow and Charleston Boulevards. And Maryland Parkway and Flamingo runs a close third. A spokesperson for the study indicated that red light runners are a major cause of crashes in Las Vegas and, unfortunately, it’s not limited to the intersections mentioned. There are a number of drivers that drive as if they think the road rules do not apply to them.

As evidenced by the number of pedestrians killed in January 2020, it’s also easy to see that the sheer number of pedestrians in Las Vegas are a big part of the motor vehicle accident problem. People who walk without paying attention, distracted by the dazzling Strip, or walkers impaired after a day of imbibing or witless after all night gambling sessions make a terrible combination with impaired drivers or excessive speed.

Staying Up-to-Date With Traffic Laws in Las Vegas

One way that drivers and pedestrians alike can try to avoid becoming a road traffic statistic is to keep abreast of the traffic laws in Las Vegas. The following are prime examples:

  • Nevada increased the penalty for speeding to $20 for each mile per hour over the stated speed limit or the appropriate rate of speed.  That will add up fast. For example, someone driving 80 mph in a 50 mph zone will face a $600 fine.
  • It is illegal to drive at a speed that results in personal injury or property damage.
  • A law known as the “move-over” law means drivers must slow down to less than the posted speed limit when approaching a traffic accident. The law was strengthened in 2020 to include slowing down when approaching non-emergency vehicles flashing emergency lights.
  • Also, Nevada’s reckless driving laws have been expanded to include areas where the public has access like parking lots, parking garages and gated communities. The previous reckless driving law applied on public streets only.

Other traffic laws to consider are:

  • Nevada requires seatbelts for all vehicle passengers over 6 years old.
  • Nevada allows right turns on red after a complete stop.
  • Pedestrians must walk to far left of the road facing traffic if there are no sidewalks. The sidewalk improvements in some intersections have led to a positive improvement in fewer pedestrian accidents.
  • Talking on cell phones or other electronic devices while driving will incur a fine of $50 up to $250.

The blood alcohol limit in Nevada is tiered:

  • .02% for drivers under age 21;
  • .04% for drivers who hold a commercial driver’s license; and
  • .08% for all other drivers.

It is everyone’s responsibility to report:

  • impaired drivers,
  • motor vehicle accidents,
  • drivers/passengers left high and dry on the highways, and
  • any other suspicious incidents.

Nevada’s residents may report such behavior by calling *NHP (*647).

Overall Thoughts

A recent study found that Las Vegas was number 144 out of 200 cities for driver safety. That is because Las Vegas drivers were 21% more inclined to have a traffic accident than the national average. In fact, the report reckoned that Las Vegas drivers have a traffic accident every 8 years.

Nevada also leads the nation in DUI arrests every year. The arrests number more than 8,000. And Nevada’s traffic gridlock results from the streets designed with stoplights every mile. All of which add up to frustrated drivers thinking red lights are for running and to drivers distracted by cell phones, pet passengers, and eating/drinking while driving.

While car accidents are a significant concern in Las Vegas, there are other forms of stress and trauma that individuals face. For instance, work-related stress can have severe implications on an individual’s mental and physical health. In environments where job demands exceed one’s capacity to cope, the resulting stress can lead to various health issues. If you believe that your work environment is causing undue stress, it’s essential to know your rights. Learn more about how you can sue your employer for work-related stress in Nevada and the legal avenues available.

To read more about Las Vegas’ dangerous intersections, see the January 2019 article from entitled “Nevada Agency identifies deadliest intersections in Las Vegas Valley.”

Seeking legal advice after a car accident in Las Vegas? Connect with our Las Vegas car collision lawyer now.

As founder of Gina Corena & Associates, she is dedicated to fighting for the rights of the people who suffer life-changing personal injuries in car, truck and motorcycle accidents as well as other types of personal injury. Gina feels fortunate to serve the Nevada community and hold wrongdoers accountable for their harm to her clients.

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