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Hand of a deceased pedestrian lying on the pavement after a motor vehicle accident | Burg Simpson

Pedestrian Deaths Are On the Rise in Nevada

August 28, 2023 | 5 min read

Pedestrian deaths in Nevada, especially in the Las Vegas region, have been trending upward. With its bright lights and bustling streets, Las Vegas beckons tourists and locals alike to explore its many attractions. However, beneath the glitz and glamour of the Strip lies this sobering reality.

According to a KTNV Las Vegas news report, over two weeks this summer, 8 pedestrians were killed. The Las Vegas Metro Police Department’s traffic report showed a pedestrian death nearly every day of the week.

As Las Vegas pedestrian accident lawyers, we are deeply concerned by this trend in pedestrian deaths and wish to shed light on the factors contributing to this rise, the steps that can be taken to enhance pedestrian safety, and what to do if you have lost a loved one.

Call Burg Simpson today at 702-668-2070 for a FREE and confidential case evaluation. Let us support you and guide you through the legal process in pursuit of fair compensation for your devastating losses.

The Statistics Paint a Grim Picture

There has been a steady increase in pedestrian fatalities nationwide over recent years. The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) reports at least 7,508 pedestrians were struck and killed in 2022, “the highest number since 1981 and an average of 20 deaths every day.”

According to the Clark County Office of Traffic Safety, pedestrian deaths in Clark County accounted for 30% of the county’s total traffic-related fatalities and 79% of the pedestrian deaths throughout Nevada from 2017–2021. More recently, in an article for FOX5 Las Vegas, Andrew Bennett, with the county’s office of traffic safety, stated, “Our research shows that 90% of the pedestrian fatalities across the state of Nevada happened in Clark County.”

These statistics aren’t only frightening—they are unacceptable. Everyone needs to walk down the street, and we should not have to do it in fear.

What Factors Are Contributing to the Rise in Pedestrian Deaths?

The alarming uptick in pedestrian deaths is an issue with many variables. Some of the common factors contributing to pedestrian accidents are:

Distracted Driving

The proliferation of smartphones and in-car infotainment systems has significantly increased instances of drivers taking their eyes off the road. Even a momentary lapse can result in fatal consequences for pedestrians.

Poorly Designed Infrastructure

Insufficient or deteriorating sidewalks, crosswalks, and pedestrian pathways force individuals to walk in potentially dangerous areas. Moreover, intersections without clear pedestrian signals can create confusion.

Impaired Drivers & Pedestrians

Alcohol and drug-related incidents persist, with intoxicated drivers and pedestrians exhibiting slowed reaction times and impaired judgment. In an accident, however, the pedestrian is the party at the most risk.

High Speed Limits

Roads with higher speed limits, especially those intersecting with pedestrian areas, can result in severe accidents. The faster a vehicle, the less time a driver has to react.

Low Visibility Conditions

Many pedestrian accidents occur during night-time, dusk, or dawn. Low-light conditions due to the time of day or poorly lit roads can make it harder for drivers and pedestrians to spot hazards.

Increased Pedestrian Distractions

Just as drivers get distracted, so do pedestrians. Using headphones or focusing on a smartphone while walking diminishes a pedestrian’s awareness of their surroundings.

Understanding these factors is vital in formulating effective strategies to reverse the rising trend of pedestrian fatalities.

Read More: Why Are There So Many Car Accidents in Las Vegas?

Pedestrians Also Share Responsibility

While drivers are often blamed for accidents, pedestrians also contribute to the risks. Jaywalking, crossing highways or roads without using designated crosswalks, and walking along streets while impaired or distracted are all risky behaviors that can lead to tragic outcomes.

The first step to improving these pedestrian death statistics is awareness. The second is finding out what we can do to contribute to the change. When it comes to pedestrians, learning how to share the road safely could save your life.

Liability Implications of Pedestrian Accidents

In Nevada, the law stipulates that drivers must yield the right of way to pedestrians within any crosswalk, marked or unmarked. However, pedestrians must also not suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle that is so close the driver can’t yield. This mutual responsibility means that both drivers and pedestrians can be held accountable for accidents.

How Can We Slow This Devastating Trend?

This surge in pedestrian deaths isn’t going to slow unless we take action. Here are some ways to address the issue and take steps to prevent further fatalities.

Public Awareness Campaigns

Programs that educate the public about the importance of pedestrian safety can make a significant difference. These programs need to address the problem from both the point of view of drivers and pedestrians to attack the problem from both sides.

Infrastructure Improvements

Investing in appropriate lighting, more pedestrian crossings, overhead flashers, and safety barriers can help to prevent accidents. Additionally, introducing traffic-calming measures in high-risk areas can reduce the severity and frequency of collisions. These could include any measure that would reduce speed, including speed bumps, medians, and raised intersections.

Strict Law Enforcement

Ensuring that traffic rules are strictly enforced can act as a deterrent for both drivers and pedestrians. Imposing hefty fines or penalties for infractions may make individuals think twice before violating regulations.

How Can Las Vegas Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Assist?

The increasing rate of pedestrian deaths in Las Vegas is a matter of grave concern. While a combination of factors contributes to this unfortunate trend, proactive measures by the government and the public can bring about positive change. As community stakeholders and advocates for justice, we at Burg Simpson remain committed to assisting those affected and tirelessly working towards a safer Nevada for all.

In the aftermath of a tragic pedestrian accident, the affected parties and their families often grapple with emotional trauma and mounting medical bills, all while trying to navigate the complexities of the legal system. As experienced Las Vegas pedestrian accident lawyers, Burg Simpson can guide victims and their families through the process of seeking justice and fair compensation.

From gathering evidence to representing clients in court, we provide comprehensive legal support. Contact Burg Simpson today to schedule a FREE and confidential case evaluation. We proudly serve our neighbors in Las Vegas and across Nevada.