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Pedestrian Safety In Nevada


In 2017, 5,977 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in the United States. That’s about one death every 88 minutes. [1] Additionally, an estimated 137,000 pedestrians are injured in non-fatal accidents. Unfortunately, Nevada ranks very low when it comes to pedestrian safety. A recent increase in pedestrian accidents in both Northern and Southern Nevada serves as a reminder to all Nevadans that road safety should not be neglected. Here are some important tips and information Nevadans should consider when walking near the road and motor vehicles.

What Increases Risk of Getting in a Pedestrian Accident ?

Here are some risks that can increase one’s chance of being involved in a pedestrian accident [3] :

  • Alcohol-impaired drivers and pedestrians: Almost half (47%) of crashes that resulted in a pedestrian death involved alcohol for the driver and/or the pedestrian [1]. One in every three (33%) fatal pedestrian crashes involved a pedestrian with a blood alcohol concentration of at least 0.08 grams per deciliter (g/dL), 17% involved a driver with a blood alcohol concentration of at least 0.08 g/dL [2].
  • Older adults and children: Pedestrians aged 65 and older accounted for 20% of all pedestrian deaths and an estimated 10% of all pedestrian injuries in 2017. One in every five children under the age of 15 killed in traffic crashes were pedestrians in 2017. [2]
  • High Vehicle Speeds: This can increase the chance of pedestrian being struck by a car by almost thirty percent [3].
  • Risk Heightened in Urban Areas:  Most pedestrian deaths occur in urban areas, at non-intersection locations, and at night [1].
  • Wearing dark clothing that blends into one’s surroundings: Always try wearing bright clothing, as well as a light or reflectors.

Safety Measures

In addition to being aware of high-risk activity that can increase chance of pedestrian accidents, it is also important to learn of safety measures that can keep you or a loved one safe. As mentioned previously, it is important to increase your visibility when walking, and ensure that you are wearing bright clothing, especially at night. Additionally, when walking, ensure that you are using the marked pedestrian lane, or sidewalk. In Nevada, it is law that pedestrians use demarcated foot bridges, crosswalks, or sidewalks. Lastly, it is advised to keep one’s full attention on the road when walking, and using earbuds or your phone while walking can impair your judgement and coordination. [3]

Recent Pedestrian Accidents in Nevada

Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents are not uncommon in Nevada, and recently, both Southern and Northern Nevada has seen a rise in pedestrian-traffic related accidents.

For example, on November 1st a pedestrian died after being hit by a car in Reno. [4] The man was found lying on a marked crosswalk at the intersection of Wells Ave. and Moran St. Unfortunately, this was a hit-and-run incident, and the driver fled the scene.

Later that week, on November 4th, two pedestrians were hit in unrelated accidents in downtown Reno [5]. The incident occurred at 5:30 p.m. Neither of the pedestrians were in designated crosswalks, and one pedestrian as well as the person operating the motor vehicle was driving under the influence of alcohol. Both pedestrians survived with only minor injuries.

In Southern Nevada, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department were investigating a fatal pedestrian accident near Sahara Avenue [6]. A pickup truck hit a pedestrian at a high speed resulting in his death. This incident marked the 81st traffic-related fatality in LVMPS’s jurisdiction in 2020.

Later last month, on November 16th, police were investigating a hit-and-run pedestrian accident near the Las Vegas Strip. [7] The suspect initially escaped police custody, but was found after a brief chase. The victim was taken to the hospital in critical condition, and his condition was later stabilized. Law enforcement believes that the victim was adhering to pedestrian laws and did utilize a cross-walk.

From these incidents we can understand the importance of those driving motor vehicles to be more cautious and alert about their surrounding, as well as decreasing their speed in heavy walking traffic areas. It is important that Nevadans have a mutual respect on the road between pedestrians, motor vehicles, and bicyclists, looking out for one and another, and adhering to traffic laws. By doing this we can keep Nevada’s roads and walkways safer for all


[1] https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812681

[2] https://www.cdc.gov/transportationsafety/pedestrian_safety/index.html

[3] https://mynews4.com/news/local/pedestrian-severely-injured-in-hit-and-run-crash-in-reno

[4] https://www.kolotv.com/2020/11/05/two-pedestrians-hit-by-vehicles-in-separate-downtown-reno-crashes/

[5] https://www.fox5vegas.com/news/las-vegas-police-investigate-fatal-crash-involving-pedestrian-in-central-valley/article_0411e2f0-17b3-11eb-8432-1fc27fc62eb9.html

[6] https://www.fox5vegas.com/news/crime/las-vegas-police-investigate-hit-and-run-turned-auto-pedestrian-crash-near-desert-inn-paradise/article_c85a1c60-2837-11eb-b8b0-3f207e0ed95f.html

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