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Posted by: Henness & Haight

Boulder Highway is a vital part of Las Vegas that attracts many tourists and locals, yet the area also experiences a large number of pedestrian deaths each year.

Since 2006, there have been 486 pedestrians killed in auto accidents throughout Nevada. Of those fatalities, 44, or nine percent, happened along Boulder Highway, according to the Department of Public Safety (DPS).

In 2016, the state of Nevada declared an epidemic of pedestrian deaths after 92 pedestrians had been killed by vehicles from Jan. 1, 2015 to Feb. 26, 2016.

Who Is At-Fault for Pedestrian Deaths on Boulder Highway?

Most of the reported deaths on Boulder Highway occurred between the hours of 6 p.m. and 4 a.m. and were often the fault of the pedestrian:

  • Pedestrian error: 23
  • Driver error: four
  • Pedestrian/driver error: one
  • Unknown: 15

The deaths in which the at-fault party is unknown is either because the incident was too old (2006 to 2010), too recent (2016-2017) or did not have enough information availble to establish fault.

In incidences in which the pedestrian was at fault, jay-walking was the most cited reason for the accident’s cause, with 18 incidences of pedestrians not using crosswalks, three relating to pedestrians who disobeyed traffic signals, and one involving a pedestrian who stood in the middle of the road.

Impairment was also a frequent factor in most pedestrian deaths along Boulder Highway.

Nearly half of the pedestrians who were killed in auto accidents along the road were intoxicated by alcohol and/or drugs, whereas 20 percent of drivers were reported to have been impaired.

Addressing the Dangers

To counteract the dangers posed to pedestrians along Boulder Highway, the DPS Office of Traffic Safety formed the Boulder Highway Coalition to develop proposals for pedestrian safety.

The Coalition has proposed additional safety measures be added along Boulder Highway. They also note that lighting and traffic to and from casinos pose serious concerns for pedestrian safety.

The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) is also conducting a study with several stakeholders, including Clark County officials, the city of Henderson, and the city of Las Vegas to renovate the 16.7 mile-long Boulder Highway.

The study is expected to be completed in a year, during which time eight locations are being poised for a $3 million renovation project to upgrade mid-block crossings by:

  • Adding or improving lighting
  • Adding crosswalks
  • Enhancing medians and sidewalks
  • Adapting lanes for buses and bicycles

Other steps that NDOT has taken to improve Boulder Highway include a $2.4 million upgrade to pedestrian and motorist safety systems and technology that includes installing a rapid flashing beacon and a Danish-offset median island at Boulder Highway and Sun Valley Drive.

NDOT also reduced the speed limit from 55 mph to 45 mph on a two-mile stretch of Boulder Highway.

Pedestrian Safety Tips

While Nevada traffic safety officials work to improve safety conditions along Boulder Highway, pedestrians can also improve their safety by following these tips:

  • Make eye contact with drivers as you cross the street to alter them of your presence.
  • Pay attention and be aware of your surroundings when crossing the street.
  • Look left, right and left again before you cross the street. You should also keep looking as you cross.
  • Always obey traffic signals and signs.
  • Make yourself noticeable and wear bright clothing and reflective material at night.
  • Always accompany children under the age of 10 who are crossing the street

Driver Safety Tips

Motorists can also help create a safer environment for pedestrians by:

  • Looking for pedestrians, especially on corners and marked mid-block crossings, and stop for them when they cross the street.
  • Paying attention to your speed, stopping at red lights and looking right before turning on green.
  • Not passing cars that are stopped for pedestrians.
  • Making eye contact with pedestrians and being alert to their presence.

For instances in which a pedestrian is injured by a negligent driver, there are legal options that may provide compensation for medical expenses, loss of wages, and pain and suffering.

Contact our Las Vegas pedestrian accident lawyers to learn more during a free consultation. All of our services are provided on a contingency fee basis, which means we will only charge you if we recover compensation for your claim.