Las Vegas’ most dangerous intersections
Traffic fatalities significantly declined in Clark County and across Nevada in 2019. It’s news we can all feel good about, but certain Las Vegas roadways–and intersections in particular–remain real dangers to drivers and pedestrians alike. We took a look at some of those intersections to find out what they tell us about our city and our driving habits.
Las Vegas’ most dangerous intersections
Whether we looked at the number of accidents vs. fatalities, or whether crashes involved vehicles only or vehicles and pedestrians, these intersections stood out as top trouble spots:
Sahara Avenue and Decatur Boulevard, which sees a crash a week on average, tops the list for number of crashes.
Boulder Highway, Nellis Boulevard and Flamingo Road to Pecos, dubbed the “trifecta of doom,” saw the most traffic fatalities of any intersections from 2016 to 2018.
Charleston Boulevard and Rainbow Boulevard, where both drivers and pedestrians contend with multiple lanes in all directions as drivers head west out of the city or in toward I-15.
What we can learn from Las Vegas’ most dangerous intersections
Las Vegas’ most dangerous intersections share common features:
- They are intersections of major multi-lane roads (Sahara Ave. and Decatur Blvd. each have 12 lanes!) that often connect main arteries of the city, like I-15 or Boulder Highway.
- They are situated where traffic patterns change quickly from highway to city driving.
- They are very high volume with lots of cars entering and exiting outside of the intersection (to and from strip malls or gas stations, for example).
- Drivers on these roads are in a hurry. People are rushing to work, to the airport–into, out of, and across town.
According to Erin Breen, Director of the Vulnerable Road Users Project at UNLV, a big part of the problem is red-light running and other dangerous behavior by drivers battling heavy traffic. Breen told KVVU-TV that drivers too often get to an intersection and choose “to not wait for the next green light, to push the red light long after they know they should.” Drivers also commonly make more risky left-hand turns, or multitask (putting on makeup, eating, etc.) while driving in these busy spots.
One surprising fact: the strip isn’t as much of a hotspot for accidents as one might think — in spite of tons of foot traffic, drivers distracted by the sights, and visitors making last-minute turns and lane changes. Perhaps, because we expect these pitfalls along the strip, drivers are more cautious when driving there or avoid the strip all together when possible.
What drivers can do to protect themselves
- Always buckle up. According to the Nevada Department of Public Safety, a quarter of deadly crashes in Nevada in 2019 involved someone not wearing a seatbelt.
- Plan plenty of time to get where you need to go. This way your day won’t be thrown off by unexpected delays or heavier than usual traffic. Not needing to rush means you’ll be less tempted to make any not-so-safe maneuvers to “make up time.” Giving yourself extra time can also contribute to a more pleasant and stress-free drive and improve your day and overall well-being.
- Avoid distractions. Texting or other hand-held cell phone activities (looking up a phone number or directions) while driving is a definite no-no. It’s especially dangerous in stop-start traffic and at dangerous intersections like these.
- Practice defensive driving. The strategies we learn in drivers ed. are our best defense: always check for red-light runners on a “fresh green,” pay attention to closing distance as you approach another car, and always check both directions before pulling out onto a major road.
- Be aware of changes in traffic patterns. The risk of a collision is especially high where traffic patterns shift from major highway speeds and exits to heavy congestion and lots of vehicles entering and exiting roadways and making left turns. It pays to be extra alert in these areas.
What to do if you’re in an accident as a driver or pedestrian: Call a Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Today
Even the safest of drivers can be involved in an auto accident, especially in congested areas where other drivers aren’t putting safety first. If you or someone you know is injured in a crash, it’s so important to get checked out by a doctor and reach out to a skilled Las Vegas car accident lawyer right away.
Don’t pass up money that you may be entitled to for your damages. Let one of our experienced, dedicated attorneys at Gina Corena & Associates evaluate your case and advise you about your rights and next steps. You owe it to your family to obtain post-accident legal guidance that will help you make the best decisions to support a claim should you ever pursue one. Contact our firm at (702) 680-1111 or via our contact form.