America’s popular Sin City consistently ranks among its Top Ten Pedestrian Traffic Accident Spots. As probably expected, the single most cited cause is sheer numerical enormity that exceeds several million Las Vegas visitors each month. This leads to an extraordinarily high volume of ever-present foot traffic. Which in turn results in a correspondingly greater incidence of pedestrian vs. motor vehicle accidents. Such collisions are particularly lethal, as nearly three-fourths cause at least one fatality. Thus, it’s vital for would-be Las Vegas tourists to prepare well in advance to avoid what could prove a one-way trip to a very different final destination, from which no visitor ever returns.
Below is a summarized list that describes common locations where pedestrian traffic accidents occur throughout Las Vegas and viable preventive strategies.
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Large Commercial Parking Lots
Hotels, shopping malls and other large commercial hubs have huge parking facilities that facilitate a correspondingly great number of on-site traffic collisions. Such areas are well-known to be especially prone for pedestrian accidents, given typical geo location and general layout of commercial parking lots. Those features make it easy for pedestrians to get lost or take unmarked side alleys to reach the next row of parked vehicles. Fast-moving cars often can’t stop quickly enough to avoid catastrophe.
As previously mentioned, crosswalks are among the most frequent sites of potentially deadly collisions between sightseeing visitors and local motor vehicle operators. A frequently cited causal factor is drivers failing to recognize the presence of designated pedestrian-only crosswalks or pedestrians therein. The next commonly blamed culprit is insufficient illumination to clearly indicate exclusive foot traffic lane designation for passing drivers. Still a third named major contributive villain is mutual human nature of motorists and pedestrians who are too impatient to wait until the official countdown ends in pre-timed sequence that begins when the correct traffic signal will immediately appear at marked crosswalks located near street intersections.
Pedestrians often die while traveling along sidewalk areas located near larger intersections when oncoming vehicular traffic crosses into the walking lane. While municipalities build public sidewalks with explicit intent to accommodate exclusively foot traffic, those same thoroughfares provide very little protection for pedestrians who use them for the sole intended travel mode. Children are especially vulnerable to becoming wrongful death victims of drunken or distracted drivers who veer over curbs and merge onto sidewalks. This is primarily because kids love to walk, ride bikes and play games like hopscotch or jump rope outside. Though most can understand basic safety rules like looking both ways before crossing each street, juveniles younger than 10 don’t have enough judgment to negotiate motor vehicle traffic safely. Per an official publication by the Nevada Dept. of Motor Vehicles (NVDMV), children less than 10 years old tend to assume that whenever they can see a driver, the reverse is also true. NVDMV’s report further stated that younger kids often believe grownup motorists can work magic by instantly stopping on a dime at any given moment in time. Such natural fantasy of immature minds and growing bodies too short to see over vehicles, shrubbery, buildings and other stationery objects combine to place juvenile pedestrians in particular jeopardy.
Specific High-Risk Spots to Watch Every Step
Boulder Highway between Henderson and Las Vegas
A particularly notorious Las Vegas pedestrian death trap is Boulder Highway, which has numerous lengthy sections that stretch for miles with no marked crosswalks at large busy intersections.
Formerly named formally as simply “Fremont Street,” world-famous Las Vegan Fremont Street Experience stays vibrant from combined foot and car traffic 24/7/365. Despite local officials making a very wise decision to close most of their remade version to motor vehicle traffic, the new Fremont Street presents a deceptive scene for visiting pedestrians who don’t know where the no-car zone begins. The entire length of 4th Street is one-way only but intersects with Fremont St. where foot traffic bottlenecks.
McCarran International Airport
Taxicabs, skycaps pushing luggage buggies in tow, passengers running to and fro between various boarding gates and privately-owned motor vehicles are all constant fixtures of McCarran Airport premises. This is hardly surprising, since McCarran provides a short-term home away from home for more than 30 million airline passengers who arrive per year to visit Las Vegas. McCarran’s latest tourist attraction is Terminal 3, which is expected to increase Las Vegas visitation levels tremendously. However, this international hub of nonstop hurry kept abuzz by constant worry over missing various flights and retrieving valuable belongings hides an inherent dark side that resides in higher probability of pedestrian traffic accidents. Combined adverse impacts of multiple urgent priorities that spur high-velocity movement distracts attention from immediate surroundings of high-volume occupancy.
Twin Prime Risk Factors in Pedestrian Traffic Accidents
Jaywalking plus joyriding equal poor judgment
While typically not taken seriously by most pedestrians or drivers, Nevada state law classifies jaywalking as a crime for several well-justified reasons. First, it’s vital to note precisely what the law denotes as jaywalking. In essence, it’s a criminal offense that consists of walking against motor vehicle traffic whenever no legal right of way to do so exists. That means crossing at street intersections when the signal is red or blinking with a white colored hand palm. During those times, traffic lights displayed to motorists are directly opposite. Therefore, it’s dangerous to be anywhere within crosswalks. Jaywalking traffic accidents are especially horrendous for pedestrians who not only sustain severe bodily injury but hefty fines due to citations.
As if that double whammy wasn’t bad enough by itself, many jaywalkers have no legal recourse against the driver(s) involved because the law views pedestrian violators as liable parties at fault. However, that general rule does have a few possible exceptions. One such scenario is when a jaywalker had almost reached the other side of the street when he or she was struck. Another is when a motorist was traveling with very excessive speed or driving recklessly.
Most lethal times for leisurely strolls in Las Vegas
An especially high-risk time of day for Las Vegas pedestrian locals and visitors alike is late at night when motorists are more likely to drive while under the influence of intoxicating substances, misperceive depth and distances or simply fail to notice pedestrians who are present nearby. Per official National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stats, nearly one-third of all pedestrian vs. motor vehicle accidents reported in Las Vegas during 2012 occurred from 8:00p.m. to 11:59 p.m.
What to Do If Well-Planned Avoidance of Pedestrian Accidents Proves Futile or Fatal
Whatever specific location or unique factual circumstances of each such occasion, the first priority for pedestrians involved in a traffic collision is prompt medical intervention from a competent provider. Insist that both local police and on-site personnel at privately owned property like commercial parking lots make formal incident reports. If possible and feasible, write down names and contact data for any bystanders who witnessed the incident and take pictures of the scene with a cell phone or digital camera. Likewise, make a written record of the license plate number, vehicle description, insurance policy information and personal identification for all motorists involved.
Once all above essentials are taken care of as best as possible, contact us to schedule a free initial consultation for a full case evaluation by an experienced Las Vegas pedestrian traffic accident lawyers.
Adam S. Kutner is a top 100 trial lawyer with 32 years’ experience and expertise that will benefit you
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With more than 32 years of experience fighting for victims of personal injury in the Las Vegas Valley, attorney Adam S. Kutner knows his way around the Nevada court system and how to get clients their settlement promptly and trouble-free.