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Nevada Car Accident Report

Another year has passed, and unfortunately, it was filled with a large number of car accidents. With so many vehicles on the road, some accidents are unavoidable, of course. Congested areas like Las Vegas will always see a fair share of fender benders. However, some of the worst accidents that result in fatalities have proven difficult to stamp out. And with the rise of recreational marijuana, Nevadans face new challenges staying safe on the road.

Fatal Accidents in Nevada

The most recent full-year accident statistics are from 2018, which showed that Nevada suffered 330 traffic fatalities. By far, most of them were in urban areas, 239 in total, while only 89 were in rural areas. The location of 2 accidents were unknown.

Motorcyclists also suffered a large number of fatalities, 59 in total. This represented a higher number than in 2017, though it was down from 2016. Of course, total numbers never tell the whole story, as more people might be out on a bike than in years prior.

Our state saw improvement with pedestrian fatalities. A tragic 79 people lost their lives in accidents in 2018. However, this number did represent a substantial decline from the more immediate years, when 91 (2017) and 80 (2016) pedestrians were killed. With all of the foot traffic we see on the Strip and adjoining areas, any decline in pedestrian fatalities is welcome.

Rough Start to 2020

Already, the new year has seen more fatal crashes than the year prior. According to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARs) database, January 2020 saw 24 fatal crashes. This compared to 22 fatal crashes in January 2019. This means that we have seen roughly a 9% increase in the number of fatal crashes to ring in the new decade.

Looking closer, Washoe county saw a jump, from 4 fatal accidents in January 2019 to 5 in January 2020. Churchill County, which saw 0 fatal accidents in January 2019, saw 2 in 2020. Interestingly, Clark County’s number remained steady—at 15 in both January 2019 and 2020. Given the number of people living in Clark, we hope the numbers stay the same or decline for the remainder of the year.

Safety First, But…

There are many things motorists can do to increase their safety and reduce the odds of a fatal collision. However, as the statistics show, these measures do not guarantee that people will avoid injury.

For example, wearing a helmet should reduce the chances of suffering a fatal injury in an accident. Yet, statistics show that of the 59 motorcyclists killed in 2018, 46 were wearing helmets. This does not mean that bikers should not wear helmets since the rate of death would have been much higher without them. But it is proof that motorcyclists should still engage in defensive driving when out on the road. This means increasing your visibility and not weaving in and out of lanes.

Causes of Fatal Accidents—Drunk Driving

Impaired driving is a scourge that Nevada has not yet managed to eliminate from its roads. The problem with drunk driving was first put on the map by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), which formed in 1980 in response to the tragic death of a teenage girl in California.

Still, despite stiff criminal and civil penalties, and public service campaigns to discourage people from driving after a few drinks, drunk driving continues to occur.

According to statistics, 2018 saw 87 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in our state. About 26% of all traffic fatalities involved alcohol impairment. Thankfully, this number was down a bit from both the national average (29%) and the rate in previous years, such as 2014, when 32% of all fatalities involved impaired drivers.

Non-Fatal Crashes

Each year, tens of thousands of people suffer serious injuries out on Nevada’s roads. Their injuries, though not fatal, can still be life changing. At our firm, we have represented people suffering from fractures, burns, scarring, concussions, back injuries, and spinal cord damage. The people are our friends, colleagues, and neighbors who were struck at intersections and out on the open road.

Marijuana-Impaired Accidents

Now that Nevada has decriminalized recreational marijuana use, we anticipate seeing more accidents involving high drivers. A study mentioned in Consumer Reports found that states that legalized marijuana use saw a 6% increase in the number of motor vehicle crashes compared to nearby states that had not decriminalized marijuana use.

We would not be surprised to see Nevada experience a bump up in DUIs due to marijuana use. Marijuana can impair a motorist’s normal faculties much as alcohol can. After smoking marijuana, a motorist might find that their reflexes have slowed and that they lack the same coordination that they would have had without smoking. Marijuana, as a depressant, can also make users drowsy, just as alcohol can, and might cause a driver to fall asleep.

Marijuana impairment might be harder to uncover, also. There are no mass-produced roadside tests for marijuana use like there is for alcohol. Instead, the police typically need to collect a urine or blood sample from a motorist which cannot be done on the side of the road. Consequently, some high drivers might avoid any criminal penalties for driving after lighting up.

What You Can Do After an Accident

If you or a loved one were injured in a crash, you should immediately meet with an attorney to review the surrounding circumstances. Nevada law gives victims powerful rights to compensation, but you should act fairly quickly. If you need medical attention, get to the hospital. But make sure that one of your first calls is to a Nevada car accident attorney.

At Naqvi Injury Law, our lawyers are always available for those who have survived a car accident. If a loved one passed, surviving family members can talk to us about bringing a wrongful death lawsuit for compensation. Contact our law firm today for a free consultation.