Is It Safe to Drive in Las Vegas?
Whether you are visiting Las Vegas on vacation or live in the area, you may know that auto accidents happen frequently on the Strip and throughout Las Vegas. It is important to remember that anyone can get into a crash, and you should be prepared in the event of an accident. At the same time, you should know that drivers have a duty to be responsible behind the wheel, and if a motorist drives aggressively, or is distracted or intoxicated, that motorist can be held liable for a collision and any resulting injuries.
For anyone who is thinking about renting a car in the Las Vegas area, accident statistics can be daunting. Moreover, even if you are driving into the city or already own a car here, you may be among the many people who avoid driving on the Strip or near the casinos and restaurants in order to avoid a collision with a drunk driving. And if you are driving on or near the Strip, you need to keep in mind that you will be sharing the road and the general area with buses, Ubers and Lyfts, taxis, pedestrians, and monorails. Ultimately, is it safe to drive in Las Vegas, or should you stick to ride-sharing apps and public transportation?
How Often Do Car Accidents Happen in Nevada?
How often do auto accidents occur in Las Vegas and throughout Nevada? According to data from the Nevada Department of Transportation, at least 50,000 traffic crashes result in law enforcement agencies responding to the scene each year, which often means that the crash resulted in significant property damage and/or serious bodily injury. While Nevada has a Zero Fatalities safety goal that aims to eliminate all auto accident fatalities on the roads in Las Vegas and elsewhere in the state, many preventable collisions continue to occur each year.
The following are some quick facts about motor vehicle crashes in Nevada in 2016:
More than 34,000 people were injured in motor vehicle collisions;
329 people suffered fatal injuries in traffic crashes;
More than 22,000 accidents occurred in which at least one person was injured; and
Nearly 30,000 accidents happened in which nobody got hurt but serious property damage was reported.
Why Do Traffic Collisions Occur in Las Vegas?
Why do most car accidents happen in Las Vegas? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) explains that traffic collisions occur for many different reasons, including the following:
- Drunk Driving: Drunk driving, or intoxicated driving, is a serious problem in Las Vegas and throughout Nevada. Given that there are many popular bars, restaurants, and casinos serving drinks in Las Vegas, preventable DUI crashes happen much too frequently. It is unlawful to get behind the wheel of a car and to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher, but unfortunately, drivers do this and they put other motorists at risk of injury. A fact sheet from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 1,000 people were killed in drunk driving crashes in Nevada between 2003-2012.
- Distracted Driving: There are many different ways a driver can get distracted behind the wheel. Sometimes distractions involve physical distractions such as eating or reaching for a cup of coffee—behaviors that require you to take your hands off the wheel. In other situations, distractions are visual, such as using a smartphone to send or read a text message when you should be looking at the road. Distractions can also be cognitive, meaning that even taking your mind off the task of driving can result in a collision. An article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal emphasizes that certain types of distracted driving can result in significant fines.
- Aggressive Driving: Unfortunately, there are many ways in which drivers can behave aggressively behind the wheel, including speeding, running red lights, running stop lights, following too closely or tailgating, weaving between traffic, and cutting off other motorists in traffic. Any of these aggressive actions can lead to an otherwise avoidable crash.
- Drowsy Driving: If you are driving into Las Vegas from a distance with your family member after hours on the road, or if you are driving back to your home or hotel late at night from the Strip, simply being tired can impair your driving skills. Drowsy or impaired driving is a bigger problem than most people realize. In particular, when truck drivers pass through Las Vegas on I-15 after many hours of driving, they could be at risk of causing a drowsy driving collision with another motorist.
As you can see, you could be at risk of getting hurt in a car crash with another motorist who is distracted, intoxicated, drowsy, or behaving aggressively. At the same time, if you get distracted behind the wheel or are a little bit too drowsy to drive safely, you could end up causing an accident. To be sure, so many people are walking around Vegas at any given time, and a brief glance or thought away from the road could quickly lead to a severe or deadly collision.
What Are Some Tips for Driving Safely in Las Vegas?
If you still want to drive in Las Vegas, how can you stay safe behind the wheel? An article in TimeOut recommends the following tips for safe driving on the Strip and elsewhere in Las Vegas:
- Be aware of traffic: Know that streets in Las Vegas become very congested both in the morning hours between 7:00 until 9:00 a.m., as well as in the evening rush hours between 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. In addition, there is significant congestion on roads during the weekends, especially in tourist-heavy areas on the Strip. As the article underscores, “the Strip is slow-going most of the time and turns into a virtual car park when the town is busy.”
- Know your directions: Always have directions and know where you are going. If driving on the Strip is too stressful, you should familiarize yourself with alternate routes, such as those running along Industrial Road, Frank Sinatra Drive, and Paradise Road. These throughways tend to move faster than the Strip, and they still provide visitors to Las Vegas with access to casinos.
- Be ready for construction delays: Given that Las Vegas always seems to be growing, there are frequent delays as a result of construction throughout the city.
Seek Advice from a Las Vegas Car Accident Lawyer
If you have questions about filing a car accident claim after being involved in a collision, a Las Vegas car accident attorney can help. Contact Ladah Law through our website or call us at 702-252-0055 to learn more about how we can assist you.