A 69-year-old woman in a walker is dead after a 23-year-old woman ran over the pedestrian.
The wreck occurred in Northwest Las Vegas, near the intersection of Durango Drive and Deer Springs Way. The woman was southbound on Durango as she approached the pedestrian, who was not crossing the street in a marked crosswalk. According to Metropolitan Police, the pedestrian was almost in the center of the tortfeasor’s (negligent driver’s) lane at the moment of the collision. Officers said the woman was quite distraught and fully cooperative.
None of the names were released.
In pedestrian-auto accidents, there is a direct relationship between the vehicle’s speed and the pedestrian’s injuries. When the tortfeasor is travelling less than 20mph, the pedestrian serious injury rate is only 25 percent. However, if the tortfeasor is travelling 45mph or faster, the serious injury rate jumps to 90 percent.
Newton’s Second Physical law explains much of this discrepancy, because speed multiplies the force between two objects. This rule applies in any collision whatsoever. Specifically in terms of vehicle wrecks, speed has another adverse impact, because it increases braking distance. Most vehicles travelling at 30mph cover six car lengths in the time it takes for the driver to see a hazard, move his/her foot to the brake pedal, and safely stop the car. That distance triples, to eighteen car lengths, at 60mph. Once again, there is a multiplying factor.
The tortfeasor in the above story told police that she did not see the victim until she was almost in the middle of her lane, which strongly indicates that she may have been distracted. If so, she was certainly not alone, because despite the presence of strict cell phone laws in Nevada and elsewhere, the number of people who use their handheld devices while driving has steadily increased over the last decade, and now totals over 650,000 drivers a day.
Device distraction is just one component of distracted driving, as this category includes a wide range of behaviors, including:
- Cognitive distraction (taking one’s mind off the road),
- Manual distraction, (holding the steering wheel with only one hand, or part of one hand), and
- Visual distraction (taking one’s eyes off the road).
Handheld devices combine all three forms of distraction. Moreover, although many pundits sing the praises of hands-free devices, there is some evidence that these gadgets are even worse than hand-held phones, since hands-free devices still distract drivers both visually and cognitively, and they also give these same driver as false sense of security.
In jaywalking pedestrian crashes, insurance company lawyers usually invoke the sudden emergency defense. This doctrine excuses negligent conduct if:
- Sudden Emergency: This is a term of art that means a completely unexpected situation, like a hood fly-up. A jaywalking pedestrian, on the other hand, is rather unusual but certainly not completely unexpected.
- Reasonable Reaction: In the wake of a sudden emergency, it is reasonable to pull over to the side of the road at the first opportunity, not keep going and then relying on lawyers to shift blame to the victim.
Victims in pedestrian crash cases are entitled to compensation for their economic damages, such as lost wages, and their noneconomic damages, such as emotional distress.
Count On an Aggressive Attorney
Pedestrian crashes often cause serious injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Las Vegas, contact Naqvi Injury Law. We do not charge upfront legal fees in negligence cases.