Folks, Its Not All about Traffic Laws that Keep Nevada Driver’s Safe
In 2009, 243 people died on Nevada roads according to the state traffic safety director–81 fewer deaths than in 2008. Nevada State authorities attribute the lower accident related deaths to better law enforcement and more laws to enforce. While certainly this may be the only thing that can be actually analyzed in a quantifiable measure, the drop and continued drop of deaths likely has many other factors besides new laws. Nevada deaths peaked with 431 total deaths in 2006—up from 381 deaths in 2002—a sea saw of statistics. The State’s rationale can’t be correct. In all likelihood, we had more traffic laws legislated from 2002 to 2006 yet we had an increase of deaths; so how does one truly explain the numbers? You can’t. Here is why.
The other factors that must be considered are: population increases/decreases, population of drivers increasing, types of cars driven from 2002 to 2009 (SUV’s, airbag equipped vehicles, etc.), the economy (causing less total drivers on the road), the number of new freeways e.g. I-215 (adding to less traffic collisions as a percentage of total cars-less risks as no center dividers and cross traffic issues), etc. Nevada still has not implemented laws prohibiting people from texting while driving, nor have they implemented laws to stop cell phone use while driving —yet we have an increase of both of those activities, yet a drop in deaths; in addition, our speeding has increased. Most speed limits are now 65 mph with highway speeds allowing for 75 mph in certain rural areas. In California, the death rate dropped when they increased the speed limits in 1998 when compared to 2002 when they calculated an increase from 55 to 65 mph with more drivers on the road—confused? You should be. What is really saving lives? More laws? Not likely. Who really knows except to think car safety has improved dramatically—and a little luck. Perhaps we are just luckier this year. If next year traffic deaths increase what will we say caused it?