Las Vegas has some of the highest rates of pedestrian accidents in the United States. In fact, Las Vegas averages more than 650 pedestrian accidents each year. Because a pedestrian doesn’t have a vehicle or a seatbelt to protect them, pedestrian accidents can be severe.
It’s important to remember that many people use the roads, and we must all work together to ensure they are safe for everyone. Knowing exactly what you can do to help avoid a pedestrian accident can ensure that all Las Vegas residents feel safe to use the roadways, and can help you protect yourself. Here’s what you can do to avoid a pedestrian accident.
When you’re a driver, there are things that you can do to avoid a pedestrian accident. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
1. Slow Down in Pedestrian Areas
Taking it slow when you see pedestrians can give you extra time to react. Pedestrians can be unpredictable. Even a fraction of a second can make a big difference when it comes to avoiding a pedestrian accident. Taking it slow can give you extra time to spot and respond to pedestrians in your path.
2. Be Patient With Seniors and People With Challenges
A senior might need extra time to cross the street. They also may have difficulty seeing you. A person that’s blind might also require extra time and care. If you drive an electric car, it may be hard for a blind person to hear your vehicle. Leaving extra distance and time can help those with special circumstances stay safe on the roads.
3. Look for Eye Contact
Pedestrians want to know that you’ve seen them before they cross the street. Looking to make eye contact with pedestrians can help you all communicate with each other about who’s going where on the roads. Making eye contact with each other can help you all have clear expectations and avoid confusion that can result in tragedy.
4. Observe School Bus Rules and School Crossing Signs
There are special rules for drivers near school buses and in school zones because kids don’t always think to look both ways or avoid darting into a busy street. When a school crossing guard gives you a command, make sure you follow it. Likewise, school buses can be hard to see around, and you should never take the chance of disregarding a school bus stop sign.
5. Don’t Make Assumptions If the Car in Front of You Stops
If the vehicle in front of you stops suddenly, it can be tempting to try and quickly drive around them. That’s a mistake because there might be a pedestrian in front of the first vehicle. You should leave enough following distance to be able to stop when the car in front of you stops. Trying to dart around traffic can result in disaster.
6. Take the Weather Into Account
You can’t always stay home when the weather gets bad. Pedestrians can’t always stay home either. Be sure to leave extra time and following distance in adverse weather conditions. Giving yourself additional time to stop can be what you need to make sure that you’re able to adjust if your car acts in unpredictable ways because of the weather.
7. Don’t Drive Under the Influence
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs reduces your reaction time. Pedestrians don’t know if drivers are under the influence. When you drive under the influence, you put yourself at risk as well as endanger the pedestrians and other drivers around you. Making sure you drive sober is not only what’s safe, but it’s also what the law requires. Injuring a pedestrian while you’re drunk driving results in serious penalties including the real possibility of significant time in prison.
Pedestrians can also take extra steps to avoid an accident. Here are a few tips to consider.
1. Stick to Designated Crossing Areas
The Nevada Department of Transportation puts a lot of work into planning safe roads for both drivers and pedestrians. When you’re on foot, your best bet is to stick to designated pedestrian crossing areas. These areas have traffic control devices that allow you to cross safely.
2. Don’t Expect Drivers to See You
Unfortunately, drivers don’t always pay attention as they should. They may even be under the influence. Your best bet is to make sure traffic stops before you cross an intersection even when you have the right of way.
3. Look Around Stopped Vehicles
The vehicle in front of you might see you and stop. While the car behind that should stop too, they might try to drive around the first vehicle quickly. Be careful of this possibility, and look for any additional vehicles as you continue through a crosswalk. Even if you’re moving around parked cars, it’s worth the extra look to make sure there aren’t other cars around you.
4. Move Far Away If You Must Stop Your Car on a Street
Some of the most serious pedestrian accidents occur when drivers stop their vehicles on the side of a highway. Other drivers continue to travel at a high rate of speed, and they may not always be paying attention to what’s on the shoulder of the road. If you must stop your vehicle on the side of the road, make sure you leave as much space as possible between you and the roadway. Don’t stand right by the road. Leaving extra space between you and the street can give you and drivers the additional time to avoid an accident.
Determining Fault After an Accident
When a pedestrian accident occurs, it might be the driver’s fault, the pedestrian’s fault or the parties might share fault. Even if you’re partially to blame, you may still be able to bring a claim for your damages. Nevada law allows you to recover for a percentage of your losses as long as you’re not more than 50 percent to blame for the crash. An experienced attorney can help you examine the evidence to determine fault and evaluate your options for recovery.
Staying Safe on the Roads
Whether you’re driving or on foot, it’s important to stay safe on the roads. Slowing down and taking time to look can help you avoid an accident and potentially severe injuries.
For those who have been injured in a pedestrian accident, it’s essential to contact a qualified law firm to discuss your case. A lawyer can help examine the details of your circumstances to determine the best course of action for recovering after a pedestrian accident.