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As Nevadans Enter Second Half of 2022, Traffic Deaths Continue to Climb

As the month of July grows to a close for Nevadans, traffic fatality numbers for the first half of the year are looking bleak, with deadly crashes up 20 percent from last year in Clark County. This comes after a very deadly 2021, where traffic fatalities were the highest in nearly a decade. Data from the State Department of Public Safety shows that Southern Nevada has had 128 deadly crashes this year, in comparison to the 108 it saw in 2021. Thirty-one of these incidents involved pedestrians, and another 41 involved unrestrained motorists. The increase in fatalities is also reflected in state data, with a 2 percent increase in deaths statewide in comparison to last year. Traffic officials blame this uptick on both speeding and driving under the influence [1]

Some Speed-Related Fatal Crashes Across the State

A sixteen-year-old in Reno Nevada was killed in a single vehicle rollover crash on South McCarran Blvd and Cashill Blvd. Authorities stated that the vehicle and occupant failed to maintain their lane and left the roadway and rolled several times. Speed appears to be a factor in the accident. This is one of the many fatal accidents across the state this year where speed was a factor. [2]Earlier last month, a driver was arrested for street racing in Las Vegas, after it resulted in a crash that killed two. The crash resulted in the death of Jason A. Qahhaar and Priscila R. Velasquez, both thirty-four years old from Las Vegas. The driver arrested, Jovani Monarrez Tavizon, was racing his Corvette against a Dodge Charger at a high speed. The Charger struck the median and then hit a curb line and power pole before crashing into a parking lot. The driver of the Charger and the Corvette will face charges of reckless driving and speed contest involving death. [3]  These are just two of the accidents in a year when Nevada could break traffic related death records.

Cause of the Rise:  Speeding and Driving Under the Influence

The National Safety Council sites speeding as the major factor in traffic related deaths and injuries since it it decreases driver reaction time, increases vehicle stopping distance, and decreases the abilities of road safety structures such as medians, guardrails, etc. Speeding kills an average of 30 people a day, with 11,258 traffic deaths in 2022 being attributed to speeding and it being a factor in 29 percent of all fatalities. The National Safety Council found that males were nearly twice as more likely than females to speed, regardless of age group, and that people between the ages of 15 and 20 were the most likely to speed. Intuitively, as people age, the likelihood of them speeding reduces with those 75 and over being the least likely to speed. The following are some possible consequences of speeding:

  • Speeding makes you more likely to lose control of the vehicle
  • Reduces the effectiveness of the occupant protection equipment such as seatbelts, airbags, and automatic braking systems
  • Requires increased stopping distance, which can be difficult to attain if driver perceives a sudden danger
  • Increased fuel consumption/cost
  • Speed-related crashes often have high-cost implication with damages and fines

In addition, the impacts of speeding can be worsened by bad weather, as well as driving under the influence. About forty-five percent of fatal speeding crashes occurred on water, while ice/frost and mud both made up forty percent of incidents. Dry conditions made up about twenty percent of incidents.

Driving under the influence in Nevada also often coincides with speeding, and twenty-five percent of speeding drivers under the age of 21 involve alcohol impairment. Additionally, for those between the age of 21 and 54, forty percent or more of the group was impaired while driving at high speeds. This percentage falls greatly to less than thirty-three percent among 55 and 64 years old, with the percentage steadily decreasing with drivers’ age. [4]






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