The rate of pedestrian traffic fatalities is rising across the United States – and the increase in deaths in Nevada is significantly sharper than the national average. According to a recent study conducted by the Governors Highway Safety Association, pedestrian fatalities (i.e. when an automobile hits a pedestrian) rose nationwide by about 11 percent between 2015 and 2016. In Nevada, the rate increase stood at roughly 24 percent.
This is no real surprise. In 2016, the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) declared that pedestrian fatalities had reached an “epidemic level.” In an effort to reduce the number of deaths, NDOT launched a multi-pronged campaign to raise awareness about the dangers posed to pedestrians along the roads in Las Vegas and throughout the state.
Two-Thirds Of Pedestrian Accidents Take Place Where There’s No Crosswalk
While many such accidents ultimately stem from driver negligence, the statistics NDOT provides about pedestrian accidents indicates that many individuals still place themselves at risk:
- 66 percent of pedestrian deaths occur where there’s no crosswalk
- 61 percent of pedestrian deaths happen after sundown
- Thursday and Friday evenings see the highest rates of accidents
- An average of 250 deaths or debilitating injuries take place each year
Likewise, NDOT officials note a range of pedestrian behaviors that increase risk of death. Namely, they note that most accidents are caused by “crossing improperly or jaywalking, not being visible, darting into the roadway…and drivers and pedestrians failing to look out for each other.”
What’s being done?
In Las Vegas, measures are being taken to improve pedestrian safety. Namely, more than $8 million will be spent to better walking conditions along Lake Mead Boulevard and Charleston Boulevard.
Individuals who suffer from a serious accident, though – or surviving family members of a deceased accident victim – ought to consult with a lawyer to see if they can obtain restitution through the legal system. Until infrastructure meets pedestrians’ needs, the rate of such accidents is not likely to decrease.