Car accidents are a leading cause of injury and death throughout the nation. And with more people and more drivers, accidents are continuing to happen at an alarming rate, despite safety improvements in vehicles and safety campaigns. In an effort to curb accidents, it’s first important to understand how and why car accidents occur.
As the most populated area of the state of Nevada, Las Vegas sees the majority of the state’s traffic accidents, injuries, and fatalities. At the office of Ladah Law, we’ll be there for you if you’re injured in an automobile crash. To learn more about our services and how we can help if you’re hurt, call our Las Vegas car accident lawyers today.
Las Vegas Car Accident Statistics
Determining how many accidents happen per day in our state is difficult, as data varies year to year and data for 2020 has not been released. For 2019, only fatal traffic crash data is published for our state. According to that data, there were 284 fatalities reported in 2019. Clark County, where Las Vegas is located, had the most fatalities – 185. That breaks down to about one fatality reported every other day in Las Vegas.
The Nevada Department of Transportation keeps records of crash data, but the most recent year for which a full data set is available is 2010. According to the Nevada DOT, there were a total of 51,664 crashes reported in the state in 2010, 32,754 of which were property damage crashes and 18,675 of which were injury crashes. That year, there were 235 fatalities, which means that in 2019, the number of fatal accidents reported in our state was higher than it was a decade ago.
Again, the vast majority of accidents occurred in Clark County – nearly 80 percent of all traffic crashes. The data shows that of the 51,664 crashes reported in the state, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department reported 43.3 percent of the total. That means that the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department reported approximately 22,215 crashes. Broken down per day, that’s about 60.9–nearly 61–crashes per day. It’s safe to say that the Las Vegas police department has their work cut out for them!
National Car Accident Statistics
Nationally, the statistics regarding car accidents are no less grim. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that more than 32,000 people are killed each year (just under 88 people per day) and more than two million people are injured each year in car accidents, making reducing the number of crashes in our country a top public health priority. What’s more, data shows that the U.S. car crash death rate is more than twice the average of the crash death rate in other high-income countries.
Top Causes of Car Accidents
As stated earlier, identifying and understanding the top causes of car accidents is a key element of accident prevention and mitigation. The causes of car accidents in the country, state, and city of Las Vegas vary widely and include everything from driver error and negligence to road defects and more. Consider some of these top causes of car accidents:
- Alcohol use. Alcohol use is a leading cause of car crashes both in Nevada and nationwide. To be sure, the CDC reports that one in three crash deaths reported in the U.S. involved a drunk driver, indicating that impaired driving is a major cause for concern. The data for Nevada tells the same story: that drinking and driving is a top cause of crashes. In 2010 in Nevada, there were 51 alcohol-involved fatal crashes and 1,307 alcohol-involved injury crashes. For Clark County, data shows that there were 27 alcohol-involved fatal crashes in 2018, as well as 17 marijuana-involved and 10 “other drug”-involved fatal crashes in the state.
- Speeding. Nationwide, there are nearly just as many fatal accidents–about a third of all accidents–caused by speeding as are caused by drunk driving. Speeding is especially dangerous for two reasons: First, speeding makes a vehicle harder to control, increases the amount of time that a vehicle requires to stop, and increases the risk of loss-of-control and rollover accidents when turning, all of which increase the risk of a crash. Second, speeding also increases the amount of force that is involved if a crash does occur, as force is calculated by velocity multiplied by mass. In other words, the faster that a vehicle is traveling at the time of a crash, the more force that’s involved and the greater the degree of damages.
- Distracted driving. One of the potential reasons that the number of car accidents hasn’t decreased significantly in the past decade despite technological improvements in vehicles is that distracted driving has become more common. Distracted driving typically refers to using a handheld device while behind the wheel of a car, but it can refer to any type of distraction, such as self-grooming, eating or drinking, or attending to passengers while driving. The CDC reports that about eight people per day are killed in distracted driving crashes in the U.S. Data is not available for Las Vegas.
In addition to the above, which are the three major causes of car accidents nationwide and in Las Vegas, performing illegal maneuvers and driving recklessly or aggressively are also top causes of crashes. Two other causes of car accidents which are less common, but which do happen, include:
- Road and signage defects. A road or signage defect could lead to a crash. For example, potholes or debris on the road could make for dangerous driving conditions. Signage may also be incorrect, instructing drivers to make a turn into oncoming traffic, for example. Typically, a city or county is responsible for road and signage maintenance.
- Vehicle defects. Vehicle defects that can lead to car accidents might include defective tires, defective brakes, defective steering or ignition devices, and more. A manufacturer or distributor of a defective vehicle/vehicle part could be held liable if a defect leads to a crash.
Car accidents can occur anywhere but are especially common in dangerous Vegas intersections. Four-way and T-intersections recorded the most crashes in 2010.
What Makes Vegas Unique?
In addition to the above factors that lead to car accidents both in Las Vegas and nationwide, Las Vegas also has some unique elements that may increase the risk of car accidents. These include things such as the fact that Las Vegas is known as a tourist location where the use of substances (primarily alcohol) is common – this might potentially increase the risk of drunk driving or substance-involved crashes. As a city that stays up late, the risk of fatigued-driver involved accidents may also be slightly elevated in this city. Finally, two other things that increase the risk of an accident and make navigating the city by car slightly more difficult include the high level of traffic in Las Vegas and a large number of pedestrians, the latter of which could increase the risk of a pedestrian accident.
What to Do if You’ve Been in a Crash
Even if you’re the safest driver in the world, it’s impossible to predict or control the actions of other drivers. When negligent or reckless drivers cause accidents, victims deserve to be compensated.
If you’ve been in a crash in Las Vegas, one of the first things that you should do is to call a skilled Las Vegas car accident attorney. At the office of Ladah Law, we can start working on your case immediately. Call today 702-252-0055 to request your free consultation and learn more about how we can help.