There were 331 fatal accidents on Nevada roads in 2018. That figure constitutes a 6.4 percent increase over the number of fatal accidents in 2017. Driving in Nevada can be dangerous. A 2018 news story reported that U.S. 93, a popular route from Las Vegas to Phoenix, is the most dangerous highway in the country.
Crash statistics are more than just numbers. They represent personal losses, such as serious injuries, financial costs, and even fatalities. Most car accidents involve some type of negligence on the part of the driver. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the majority of traffic accidents can be attributed to bad judgment on the part of the driver or poor driver performance. Common causes of car crashes include:
1. Distracted Driving
Nevada law bans texting, using a hand-held cell phone, or accessing the internet while driving. This ban applies to drivers of all ages. Distracted driving involves doing something that takes your attention off of your driving. Distracted driving may involve reaching for a moving object, driving while drowsy, looking at something else, reading, making or answering a phone call, putting on makeup, eating, or drinking. People often multitask when driving without giving it a second thought, but anything that diverts your attention from driving is an accident risk.
2. Driving Under the Influence of Drugs and Alcohol
About one in three traffic fatalities in the United States involve a drunk driver. Even though there has been a decline in DUIs in the United States in recent years, the statistics are still alarming. In Nevada, 28.8 percent of all fatalities involve alcohol-impaired driving. Under Nevada law, you can be convicted of a DUI if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) exceeds the legal limit, or you have actual drug or alcohol impairment. A conviction carries strict penalties.
There is no doubt that speeding causes accidents. In fact, speeding causes nearly 55 percent of motor vehicle accidents in the United States. It causes accidents and increases the severity of accidents for several reasons:
- The driver is unable to react in time to avoid the accident.
- The driver has to slam on the brakes and may lose control of the car.
- The impact of the crash is greater; therefore, the injuries are greater.
Nevada’s speeding law prohibits driving at a speed that is greater than is “reasonable or proper, having due regard for the traffic, surface, and width of the highway, the weather, and other highway conditions.” Also, motorists may not drive at a rate of speed that would “endanger the life, limb or property of any person.” Drivers must also stay within the absolute speed limits, which are the limits posted along the roadways. The driver is never permitted to drive faster than 80 miles per hour.
4. Reckless Driving
Reckless driving laws in Nevada make it a crime “for a person to drive a vehicle in willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property.” Essentially, reckless driving refers to driving with wanton disregard for the rules of the road. Reckless drivers know that they are taking a risk but choose to drive recklessly anyway.
Following another vehicle too closely is known as tailgating. If a driver is not paying attention, he or she may accidentally tailgate. But in most cases, it is intentional and crosses the line into aggression or road rage. A recent study by AAA reported that nearly 80 percent of drivers experienced aggression or road rage when driving in the previous year. Tailgating is dangerous because when the front car suddenly comes to a stop, the rear car is unable to stop in time. Such driving may initiate a more complicated, multi-car accident.
6. Failure to Yield
Failure to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians, bicyclists, or another driver, is a common cause of accidents. Statistics from the National Safety Council show that almost 14 percent of all fatal car accidents occur because a driver fails to yield the right-of-way.
7. Running a Red Light
Those who run red lights endanger others in the intersection, including pedestrians, bicyclists and other motorists. Red light accidents happen for a variety of reasons, some of the most common being:
- The driver was not paying attention to the signal.
- The driver was speeding through red or yellow lights.
- The driver was making an illegal right or left turn at a red light.
- The driver was drunk or otherwise impaired.
8. Running a Stop Sign
Approximately one-third of all intersection crashes in the United States involve running a stop sign. Usually, the reasons are the same as for running a red light: people are in a hurry, fail to pay attention, or do not come to a complete stop (called a rolling stop). In some cases, a driver’s view of the stop sign is obstructed. No matter what the reason, running a stop sign can cause a serious accident.
9. Poor Weather Conditions
Many drivers fail to take the weather or road conditions into account. Rain, ice, fog, and many other weather conditions may cause poor visibility or slippery roads. If the driving conditions are difficult, the driver may swerve or lose control of the vehicle.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the majority of traffic accidents can be attributed to bad judgment or incompetent driving. Everyone who drives a vehicle must use reasonable care. If a driver does something that a reasonable person would not do, or they fail to do something that a reasonable person would do, the result is often an accident. Those injured in a car accident may face serious consequences, such as medical bills, other financial losses, long term disability, or even death. If you have been involved in a car accident that someone else caused, you need the help of an experienced car accident attorney to hold those liable accountable for their actions.
Nevada has strict time limits for filing lawsuits, so if you have questions or need help recovering after an automobile crash, call a car accident lawyer without delay. Look for an attorney who offers a free consultation and who has the experience and resources to gather evidence and obtain the best possible result for your case.