Nevada state officials recently announced a decrease in traffic-related deaths that is attributed to several factors including advanced car safety technologies, improved driver education programs, and diligent law enforcement efforts. This is the first drop in accident fatalities in a decade.

Changes in Driver Awareness and Behaviors

The Nevada Department of Public Safety along with local law enforcement has worked diligently over the past few years to reduce fatalities on Nevada roads. In 2017, Nevada saw its first decline in car accident fatalities within the last 10 years. Nevada traffic fatalities dropped from 329 recorded deaths in 2016 to 305 recorded deaths in 2017.

Since Nevada launched its Zero Fatalities Campaign in 2011, there has been a change in driver awareness and behaviors. According to officials at the Department of Public Safety, drivers are more focused on preventing car accidents by obeying traffic signals and signs, watching out for pedestrians in crosswalks, and buckling their seatbelts. The Nevada Highway Patrol is also taking a stand against impaired drivers to keep them off the roads.

Pedestrian Fatalities Are a Major Focus

Unfortunately, safety officials have not seen a decrease in the number of pedestrian fatalities in Nevada. In 2017, there were 100 reported pedestrian fatalities, a 25 percent increase compared to 2016. Accident attorneys in Las Vegas express concern over the increase in injuries and death. That number accounts for the highest number of pedestrian fatalities in Nevada’s history. Pedestrian injuries and fatalities are a major problem, especially in busy cities like Las Vegas where millions of visitors flood the streets each year. Pedestrians are often struck by distracted drivers or impaired drivers with little warning. Pedestrians themselves are also often distracted by large crowds, busy sidewalks and crosswalks, window shopping, and talking on their cell phones.

In 2018, the Department of Public Safety and local law enforcement plan to make pedestrian safety a major focus. Pedestrian barriers have already been installed along Las Vegas Boulevard between Tropicana Avenue and Spring Mountain Road. Barriers consist of a series of steel posts that can withstand a crash from a vehicle that weighs up to 15,000 pounds. The city has approved a phase-two plan for 7,500 additional barriers to be installed within the next year. With more focus on pedestrian safety and prevention, Las Vegas hopes to help reduce pedestrian fatalities in Nevada.