Las Vegas attracts tourists year-round, many of whom can be seen walking around the Strip. Though some passageways allow pedestrians to cross the street without looking out for cars, pedestrian accidents in large cities happen all too frequently. Nevada residents should be aware of the risks faced both when driving and walking.
Pedestrian fatalities on the rise
According to the Governors Highway Safety Administration, there were approximately 6,590 pedestrian fatalities in 2019, which was 5% higher than the previous year and the highest in about 30 years. This figure marked a 60% increase in pedestrian fatalities in the past 10 years even though motor vehicle fatalities only increased 2% during this same time frame.
Why the greater risk for pedestrians?
Motor vehicle accidents and pedestrian accidents have likely increased in large part due to the prevalence of texting while driving. Motor vehicle fatalities are lessened by improved safety features on vehicles, but pedestrians do not benefit from better car safety in the way that a driver or passenger would. Pedestrians may also face a greater risk due to the increase in popularity of light trucks and SUVS, which are more than twice as likely to kill a pedestrian than other, smaller types of cars. In 2009, 48% of new vehicles sold were light trucks; in 2018, that number went up to 69%.
How safe is it to walk in Nevada?
According to the GHSA, pedestrian fatalities are more likely to occur on local roads, away from intersections and at night. Overall, a large portion of the increasing fatality rate for pedestrians is attributable to nighttime accidents. The GHSA did not report where Nevada ranked among the nation, but it was not one of the highest or the lowest ranking states. Despite the bleak statistics overall, there were 20 states that had a decline in the number of pedestrian fatalities in the first half of 2019, suggesting progress can be made.
If you are involved in a pedestrian accident, you may want to consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as you can. A Nevada-licensed attorney may help you seek monetary damages from a reckless driver who caused you harm.