4 Common Causes of Las Vegas Pedestrian Accidents
When pedestrians get hit by a car, the result can be catastrophic. Unfortunately, Nevada saw a big jump in pedestrian accident injuries and fatalities in 2021. Deaths among pedestrians were up across the state, including Clark County and Las Vegas. If you know someone among them, or if you’ve been hit by a vehicle and were seriously injured, please get help from a Las Vegas pedestrian accident attorney. You deserve to have support from accident attorneys who know the law and are fighting by your side for what’s rightfully yours.
The very design of Las Vegas presents an elevated danger of collisions between pedestrians and drivers. For example, the bright lights of the famous Las Vegas Strip are there specifically to distract you and capture your attention. In addition, poor crosswalk design, drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and outdated roads all contribute to Las Vegas’ growing problem with pedestrian-involved accidents.
If you were involved in a pedestrian accident, get help from a Las Vegas pedestrian accident attorney with experience successfully representing victims across Southern Nevada. Henness & Haight has the local Las Vegas pedestrian accident lawyer insight to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
When and Where do Pedestrian Accidents Occur Most?
According to data recently published by the national Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 7,000 pedestrians died in crashes involving motor vehicles in 2020. Most of those fatalities occurred in urban areas.
Cars killed pedestrians at a higher rate on sections of roadways that were away from intersections. Initially, that may seem counterintuitive because most pedestrian interactions with drivers occur at crosswalks and intersections. However, drivers expect interactions in the same areas, so they pay more attention at intersections. Plus, stretches of road between intersections allow drivers to gain more speed, which is a significant factor in pedestrian and auto accidents turning fatal.
An overwhelming majority of pedestrian fatalities caused by motor vehicle crashes came when it was dark outside. Drivers have less visibility in the dark, which shortens their response time. That limited visibility and response time leads to more accidents at higher speeds when it’s dark outside.
The bright lights of Fremont Street and Las Vegas Boulevard may seem like they would counteract the loss of visibility at night. Still, its benefit gets offset by the sheer number of pedestrians in these tourist areas. The lights could also distract the driver or the pedestrian more than they aid with visibility. Car crashes involving a pedestrian can happen in various ways.
Top Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Between the tourists, the lights, and the freeish drinks, Las Vegas presents unique risks for pedestrians and drivers. Too often, these risk factors combine and result in deadly consequences. Knowing these common causes of fatal auto-pedestrian accidents in Las Vegas may help you avoid their risks.
Distracted drivers cause a large number of pedestrian fatalities. Distractions come in a variety of forms. A driver could be distracted by checking their navigation, texting while driving, or interacting with a disruptive passenger.
In Las Vegas, at least in the more tourist-centric parts of Vegas, like, the strip, downtown, or the roads leading out to Lake Las Vegas or Hoover Dam, the risk of distraction gets amplified. Tourists are more distracted drivers by default. They need to look up more navigation information, they’re unfamiliar with local roadways and driving customs, and they usually want to look at all the flashing lights.
Las Vegas’s tourism economy creates a risk level for distracted driving that exceeds other cities. Take extra care when walking near roads or crossing crosswalks in areas where you expect a higher concentration of tourists. That doesn’t just mean the Strip and downtown, but also the airport and convention centers, stadiums, and arenas.
Driving While Intoxicated
Sadly, impaired driving is all too common on Nevada roads. Intoxicated driving is a major cause of motor vehicle accidents that involve a pedestrian.
Drunk driving remains a consistent concern in most cities, including Vegas. Las Vegas has also legalized recreational marijuana, which presents its own unique threat when used while or before driving.
Adding to the threats raised by drunk driving is the tourism industry again. Watch out for gamblers full of complimentary drinks or people trying to create that unforgettable but somehow too-hazy-to-remember, once-in-a-lifetime party in Vegas. These visitors are dangerous enough on foot, but all too often, they get the bright idea to get in the driver’s seat and put everyone else at risk.
Once again, the tourist-heavy areas of town pose the most risk, but stay vigilant anywhere you drive or walk.
Speed kills—plain and simple.
Speeding increases fatal crashes in two ways. Speeding drivers end up in more accidents, and the faster a driver is speeding when they crash, the more likely the crash becomes fatal. Through these two amplified risks, speeding drivers pose a danger to anyone sharing the roadways or areas nearby, particularly other drivers and pedestrians.
Speeding drivers have less time to react to other drivers or people on the road. The reduced reaction time leads to more mistakes and thus more collisions. The speed compounds the damage of the crash too. Crashes at higher speeds occur with more force and higher impact. The high potential of impact force raises the likelihood of and potential severity of injuries to other drivers or pedestrians involved in the crash.
The elevated risk posed by speeding creates a more significant danger on longer stretches of roads between intersections. While a high-speed collision at an intersection could be devastating, they aren’t quite as common because drivers slow down at intersections when they expect an interaction with pedestrians or other cars. However, things can turn deadly quickly when they expect nothing but open roads with the occasional tail light.
A driver’s speed can creep up to dangerous levels, almost imperceptibly. Then they see a person or car they were not expecting because they’re nowhere near an intersection. Because of the elevated speed, they can’t react in time to avoid a collision. The faster speed causes more force at the moment of impact, and the crash leads to a fatal injury.
Stay aware of your speed, the speed of other cars, and the potential for pedestrian interactions, even when not around an intersection.
A distracted pedestrian can cause just as much risk of collision as a distracted driver. A person with their eyes glued to their phone can walk into the street right into oncoming traffic.
Once again, the party atmosphere tourists expect on their Vegas vacation creates a lot of distracted pedestrians. Drunk, wide-eyed visitors can easily get distracted by all the signs with flashing lights and miss the one that says “Don’t Walk.” Suddenly they’re in the street with cars speeding toward them. You don’t want to be driving one of those cars.
As a driver, avoid the tourist areas when possible and watch out for distracted pedestrians across the city. When you’re the one on foot, pay attention to the cars and drivers around you. Stay alert even when you have the right of way.
After a Las Vegas Pedestrian Accident, Call Henness & Haight
Hopefully, knowing what to watch for will help you avoid an auto-pedestrian accident. But, if you are involved in a crash with a motor vehicle and a pedestrian, contact Henness & Haight Injury Law for a free case evaluation. The insurance companies will have someone working against you; so you deserve a Las Vegas pedestrian accident lawyer to fight back. We know Las Vegas, and we know Nevada law. We’ll keep pursuing justice until you receive lost wages, and all the compensation you deserve for pain and suffering and medical expenses. Call us today.