The glitz and glam of fabulous Las Vegas draws in enormous numbers of visitors each year, which also means more drivers on Las Vegas roads — and more drivers can mean more car accidents. In fact, Las Vegas is 21% more likely than the national average to be involved in a car crash. The year 2018 was the worst year for Nevada driving in 10 years; there were 331 driving fatalities, which is the highest this number has been in a decade, according to the Department of Public Safety.
Continue reading to find out why this is happening and how to avoid road accidents as a Las Vegas resident or tourist.
The Causes of Most Las Vegas Car Crashes
Sin City is the place to live it up if you’re looking for a good time — but if you are not wary your good time can turn ugly. Las Vegas is the top city in the nation for DUI-related car crashes with approximately 8,000 intoxicated driver arrests each year. But this isn’t the only cause of the high number of road accidents in Las Vegas. Neglecting to wear a seat belt is another top reason for the high number of Vegas road fatalities. Driving under the influence without a seat belt is a recipe for disaster.
Another leading cause behind the city’s car crashes is distracted driving. Many Nevada drivers have a tendency to eat, use their cell phones, and pay too much attention to their pets while operating their vehicles. It doesn’t help that the city also experiences gridlock on a regular basis, thanks to the abundance of traffic lights every mile, which makes drivers even more restless and negligent.
So, how can you do your part to make sure that you’re never the cause of a road accident?
6 Ways to Avoid Car Crashes and Fatalities in Vegas
- Eliminate all distractions before hitting the road.
One of the simplest ways to keep yourself and others safe on the road is to devote all your attention to the road. Many people use their phones as a GPS while driving, so if this is the case for you, use voice controls instead of your hands. If you impulsively pick up your phone every time you get a text, turn off your notifications until you’ve parked. When you bring your pet along for the ride, make sure to kennel it if he or she has a tendency to roam curiously around the car and distract you. Whenever possible, refrain from eating while driving unless it’s a simple snack that doesn’t divert your concentration from the road. You should always be able to keep both hands on the wheel.
- Wear your seat belt at all times, no matter how short the drive.
There’s no good reason to drive without wearing your seat belt. This is the most basic and simple preventative safety feature that your car has to offer, and by not using it, you are putting yourself needlessly at risk. If you find your seat belt uncomfortable, try using a seat belt shoulder pad to make it easier for you to wear.
- Slow down and avoid driving in the fast lane.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that speeding accounts for nearly 30% of all road fatalities. The faster you drive, the less time you have to react to someone cutting in front of you traveling at a slower speed. This is a common occurrence that leads to accidents in the fast lane, which is meant to be a passing lane but is often used by drivers going 10 to 15 MPH over the speed limit. It’s better to arrive at your destination five minutes late than never to arrive at all.
- Be attentive to all of your surroundings.
A good driver keeps their eyes on the road ahead, but a great driver knows what’s going on in front of them, behind them, and to their left and right. You can avoid many accidents just by occasionally checking your rear-view mirror and side mirrors. Be aware of the way people are driving in your blind spots and steer clear of those driving recklessly within your radius.
- Avoid driving during dangerous times of the day.
Rush hour and nighttime are risky times of day to be on the road — that is, the high-traffic commuting hours of 8 to 9 AM and 5 to 6 PM as well as any time after dark. While the late hours of the night may be great for dodging traffic, you won’t be able to see as well. You also have a greater likelihood of encountering drunk drivers on the road at this time of night.
- Keep up on your vehicle’s maintenance schedule.
Tire blowouts and brake failures are among the top mechanical defects that lead to road accidents, according to a report from the US Department of Transportation. Stay consistent with your car’s oil changes, tire rotations, brake services, and so on. The better condition your car is in, the lower your chances are of ending up in an accident due to an operational malfunction.
What Is the City Doing to Address This Problem?
Andrew Bennett, a Department of Public Safety spokesman, stated that Las Vegas law enforcement is cracking down on local seat belt laws, enforcing drunk driving penalties, and pushing Nevada’s “five Es of traffic safety,” which encompass education, enforcement, engineering, emergency medical services, and working with everybody. “We’re stressing the same message, and that’s to drive sober. We don’t want people to try and estimate their level of intoxication; we just want people to drive sober. Sober means any substance,” Bennett stated.
Were You Involved in a Las Vegas Car Accident? Call Shook & Stone.
Although most people know how to drive somewhat defensively, accidents still happen — that’s why they’re called accidents. If you have been involved in one, whether you were at fault or not, contact Shook & Stone for the best outcome. Our devoted car accident attorneys are dedicated to helping you settle your case as quickly and painlessly as possible.