Our Las Vegas accident attorneys deal with the fallout of careless driving on a daily basis. Whether you are a pedestrian, biker, or driver, it’s imperative to know the particular dangers of Las Vegas roads so that you can stay safe from the tragic ramifications of car and pedestrian accidents.

5 Unique Risks of Las Vegas Roads (and what you can do to avoid them)

(carlaairam / pixabay)

1. Expensive Cars

Drivers of expensive cars are less likely to yield to pedestrians, and Las Vegas has an outsized number of expensive cars. A 2020 study by researchers at University of Nevada, Las Vegas found that the odds of a car yielding to a pedestrian decreased by 3% for every $1,000 increase in the car’s value.

Safety Tip

*If you are driving an expensive car, be a big enough person to recognize your privilege and decide to avoid an entitled, immature approach to the road.

2. Race and Gender

Video footage shows that drivers are more likely to yield for pedestrians who are women and children, and less likely to yield for men and people of color at mid-block crosswalks. Drivers are legally obligated to yield to pedestrians at intersections. Whether drivers know that or not is debatable. Drivers may believe that they are just being polite when they choose to yield.

Pedestrian accidents are a matter of public health, because injuries sustained by pedestrians struck by automobiles and trucks are especially likely to lead to fatalities and severe injury. Researchers cited information from the AAA showing that pedestrians struck at even low speeds are at extremely high risk. For example, the average risk of a pedestrian suffering a severe injury after being struck by a vehicle is 10% for an impact speed of 16mph, 25% at 23 mph, 50% at 31 mph, 75% at 39mph, and 90% at 46mph.

Safety Tip

*If you are a pedestrian in Las Vegas, don’t assume that drivers will see you. Wait for cars to slow and make eye contact with the driver before stepping out into the road.

3. Red-Light Running

Las Vegas has a reputation for drivers running red lights. One study ranked Las Vegas as No. 4 in its Top 10 List of Red-Light Running Cities, behind Houston, Phoenix, and Los Angeles. Rankings were compiled based on fatalities associated with red-light running between 2004 and 2013.

Accidents caused by running red lights have increased dramatically in the city, and often lead to severe injuries and fatalities because of the high speeds involved. If drivers run a red light on city streets as busy as the ones in Las Vegas, no matter the time of night or day, they have a very high chance of running into somebody. Angle collisions are especially deadly.

Safety Tip

*Stop jeopardizing your safety and others’ to save a few minutes. When you see a yellow light, apply the brake pedal, not the accelerator.

4. Drunk and Drug-Impaired Driving

A 2013-2014 National Roadside Survey used a stratified random sample of weekend nighttime drivers in the contiguous 48 States to reveal that 20% of weekend drivers tested positive for drugs with the potential to impair driving. Roughly 29 people die every day because of alcohol-impaired driving crashes in the US, with many more people suffering life-changing injuries.

Drinking and substance abuse are, unfortunately, commonplace in Las Vegas, and too frequently, they are paired with driving.

Safety Tips

*Take turns filling the role of the sober driver or hire a taxi. Driving while under the influence of medications, pain killers, and party drugs is just as unconscionable as driving drunk or driving high.

*Be wary of the pedestrian who may act in an unpredictable manner because of the influence of drugs or alcohol.

5. High Speed Limits and Big Roads

Compared to the narrow and slow streets in downtown areas of big cities in the east, Las Vegas enjoys wide boulevards with relatively high speed limits. Higher speed limits mean that drivers have less reaction time. Higher speed limits also mean that accidents are more damaging with higher rates of injuries and fatalities.

Speeding was a factor in nearly one-third of all fatal car crashes in the last two decades of record.
Deciding to go faster than the speed limits is not only dangerous, it can drain your finances. According to the National Motorists Association, the average cost of a speeding ticket is $150, but the average at which your auto insurance increases because of one speeding ticket is $900.

Safety Tip

*Remember the 3-second rule from Driver’s Ed? The 3-second rule applies to good, daylight conditions. If you are driving in heavy traffic, at night, or in rain or fog, double the 3-second rule to a 6-second rule.

BONUS TIP: The Most Dangerous Intersections in Las Vegas

All accidents in Las Vegas are recorded, so it’s relatively easy data crunching to determine the city’s most dangerous intersections. Here they are:

  • West Sahara Avenue and South Decatur Boulevard
  • Flamingo Road and Pecos Road
  • South Rainbow Boulevard and West Charleston Boulevard
  • Boulder Highway and Nellis Boulevard
  • I-215 and I-15

You may not be able to avoid these intersections completely without long, unrealistic detours, but you can be aware of your surroundings as you enter these intersections. The most common mistake in the book? Using these stoplights to check your phone or write a text, and then hitting the gas while trying to hit send.

Avoid accidents by raising your awareness of the most common dangers and pitfalls of Las Vegas roads. Whether you are a pedestrian or a driver, stay focused and stay safe.

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