Driving in any city can be difficult. But Las Vegas is one of the most challenging cities for driving. Las Vegas welcomes millions of tourists each year, and there’s no off-season for tourism. Even though tourists are welcome and wanted in our city, they can still make driving more challenging.
Tourists may not be familiar with the streets. They might also be in vacation mode and not paying complete attention to their driving. Even seasoned Las Vegas locals can drive in a way that creates dangers on the roads. Defensive driving is one way to potentially avoid an accident. Those who have been hurt in a collision should work with a personal injury attorney to determine what options are available for recovery in their specific situation.
What Is Defensive Driving?
Defensive driving is the idea that you should look out for other drivers on the road. You should do what you need to do to keep yourself safe. Even if another driver violates a Las Vegas traffic law and even if you’re in the right, the idea behind defensive driving is that you should take steps to react and avoid problems on the road. Defensive driving is a philosophy of driving that tries to avoid accidents and other problems by worrying about being safe rather than right on the streets.
Many traffic laws are uniform throughout the State of Nevada. These laws are found in Chapter 484 of the Nevada Revised Statutes. The purpose of traffic laws is to have safe travel and an efficient system for traffic flow. Traffic laws create things like right of way, the obligation to stop for traffic signals, and laws that prevent drunk driving and other road hazards.
A violation of a traffic law is usually a misdemeanor. Minor traffic offenses like a parking violation may be only a civil infraction. Serious offenses like a drunk driving accident that causes serious injury may be a serious felony.
How Do I Drive Defensively in Las Vegas?
There are a number of ways that you can use defensive driving principles to keep yourself safe on the roads. Defensive driving techniques mean driving in ways that help you stay out of an accident when other drivers make driving errors. Here are some of the ways that you can drive defensively in Las Vegas:
Leave a Following Distance
You aren’t going to get there any faster by tailgating the vehicle in front of you. You should leave a following distance of several seconds between you and the car in front of you. The vehicle in front of you might stop quickly without warning, and you need time to slow down or stop.
Nevada law says that you must be able to stop if the vehicle in front of you stops in the road. If there’s a sudden accident, you need time to stop your vehicle to avoid a pileup. Leaving a large margin of error gives you time to react to unexpected events that occur on the road. When time is on your side, you have more time to stop your vehicle and take other measures to avoid an accident.
What Do to Do With Drunk Drivers
One of the scariest times that you need defensive driving techniques is when you encounter a drunk driver. If you see a driver that is weaving or drifting in their lane, they may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Other erratic driving behaviors may also be signs of drunk driving.
If you encounter a drunk driver, don’t try to pass them. Keep your distance. Stay behind the drunk driver and wait patiently. Leave even more following distance between you and the driver in question than you do in a normal circumstance. Passing the driver creates a danger for you. Stay behind, leave extra following distance and call the police.
What to Do When Other Drivers Violate Right of Way Rules
Another way to drive defensively is to react defensively when other drivers violate traffic laws. When someone else violates a traffic law, respond in a way that protects you from harm even if you’re right. For example, if a person approaching an intersection looks like they’re about to run a red light, don’t attempt a right-hand turn, even if you have the right of way. If another driver cuts you off, lower your speed to give yourself room to react.
When other drivers don’t follow the rules, it can be frustrating. Driving defensively takes a lot of patience. However, it’s the best way to help you avoid an accident. When other drivers behave in ways that create dangers, respond in ways that mitigate the damage and avoid escalating the situation.
Maintaining a Safe and Reasonable Speed
Driving defensively also means maintaining a safe and reasonable speed. Speeding is one of the leading causes of accidents. Officials study traffic and driving behaviors to set speed limits that are the most likely to prevent accidents while still allowing traffic to move. When you observe speed limits, you give yourself the time to react to unexpected events on the road.
When an accident occurs, it’s more severe if one or more drivers involved are speeding. Even when you observe the speed limit, dangerous conditions like extreme weather or a water spill on the road can mean that your best bet is to drive under the speed limit. High-density traffic can also make it safer to drive at a slower speed than usual. Defensive driving means observing the speed limit and taking care to drive at a reasonable pace given all of the circumstances.
How Does Defensive Driving Relate to Legal Liability in Las Vegas Accidents?
All drivers have an obligation to drive safely and reasonably. Even when other drivers around you aren’t careful, you must behave as a reasonable person behaves under the circumstances. Defensive driving not only keeps you safe but can also protect you from legal liability if you’re involved in an accident. When a driver breaches their duty of care, they act negligently. Negligent driving may give rise to legal liability when an accident occurs.
How Can an Injury Attorney Help?
If you’re hurt because another driver wasn’t careful on the roads, they may owe you compensation for your financial losses and emotional suffering. The sooner you begin working on your case with a skilled lawyer, the better.
Your attorney will review the facts of your case to help you build a strong claim for recovery for your injuries so you can get back to normal life.