For those of us who call the Las Vegas Valley home, our local newscasts have been replete with an inordinate amount of auto versus pedestrian accidents as of late. It seem every night the evening newscast will feature a news reporter live talking about an unfortunate incident on the roadways of our cities, Interstate 15 in particular.
On November 12, 2014, the northbound lanes of Interstate 15 were shut down after a deadly pre-dawn crash involving a person walking across the highway. Trooper Loy Hixson of Nevada Highway Patrol, stated that a man was struck by a white Toyota pickup truck on I-15 near Sahara Avenue at about 4:21 a.m. The pedestrian died as a result of the crash, NHP said.
This is just the most recent incident in a string of deaths caused by pedestrian v. auto accidents. These accidents are never that serious for the automobile, however, the driver likely will have emotional trauma after a death caused by their vehicle. It is the pedestrian that is the loser in every case. Why then are we seeing an increase in such accidents? What are people thinking when they cross into traffic or against traffic lights? All of these issues are so much more puzzling when the speed of the Interstate is also a factor.
Nevada Statistics of Road Deaths
Nevada has recognized the problem with the increases in all fatalities on Nevada roads. In 2012, 258 deaths occurred on Nevada roadways. The number dropped by about 5% in 2013, and currently 232 persons have died on the highways in a variety of types of accidents in 2014. Alcohol or other intoxication while driving accounted for 70 deaths in 2013. These numbers are significantly higher than 10 years ago, as is the population, yet are these deaths preventable?
According to “Zero Fatalities” , the Nevada State program to make drivers aware of how avoid becoming one of the statistics. On the website Nevada has a plan to help the public become even further aware of what can be done to minimize your risk of death or injury while on our highways and byways.
Zero Fatalities, 5 Things to Be Aware of:
Always Buckle Up! By wearing our seat belts, we engage the most effective tool designed for out protection, this according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Wearing a seat belt is the most unobtrusive protection method, and the 2 seconds it takes to use them every time you are in a car, is nothing compared to your life or quality of life.
Don’t Drive Impaired! Drinking, drugs, prescription drugs… anything that impairs your ability to react.. If you are not sure how much you’ve consumed or how long it has been since you felt “buzzed” do not take the chance. Driving while tired or fatigued is also as bad being drunk, if you are not 100% aware and in control of your mental and physical faculties, you are impaired. Impaired driving takes lives everywhere, regardless of economic status, fame or skills. Just DO NOT DRIVE IMPAIRED! IT KILLS!
Focus on the Road! It is important to stay alert to your surroundings while operating a vehicle. Driving while texting, fiddling with the radio, talking on the phone, anything that takes your attention off what your car is doing is a danger to yourselves and others.
Stop on Red! Intersections are tricky battlegrounds where cars in opposing directions vie with pedestrians, bicyclists and other cars for the same real estate. The traffic light was invented to allow for even and orderly flow over this land and those who violate these signal indicators are at risk of accidents, causing injury or even death.
Be Pedestrian Safe! This one is particular for this article. Drivers need to be more aware of the possibility of pedestrians on the roadways. Look out for distressed vehicles, poor driving conditions and other hazards that may increase the possibility of a pedestrian on the highways. Crosswalks are a very big concern. Just because there is a “walk” sign, the pedestrians need to be aware of all traffic.
Additional Things for Pedestrians to think about..
-Wear bright clothing to increase your visibility.
-Wear reflective tape or clothing, especially at night.
-Look BOTH ways whenever crossing a road in the crosswalk.
-Look out for bikes and other pedestrians, runners in particular.
-Obey the street signals, even if there looks like no traffic is coming.
-Avoid playing with your phones or music players while walking.
-Be aware of dangers, construction, or other things that could come in your path.