As 2021 Road Fatalities Rise, Las Vegas Law Enforcement Increases Precautions

Deadly crashes have been taking the lives of Nevada drivers, pedestrians, and passengers at an alarming rate this year. The Nevada Office of Traffic Data shows that seventy-eight people have died from sixty-seven motor vehicle accidents on State highways. This is a twenty percent increase from this time last year and does not include several deadly crashes we have seen throughout April [1]. Specific data from the report shows that Nevada has had a seventy-five percent increase in motorcycle fatalities, while Clark County has had a 121% increase in motorcycle fatalities. The number of motorcycle fatalities continues to rise at an alarming rate, with several crashes occurring throughout April. Las Vegas officials have identified the intersection at Craig and Martin Luther King as a spot where crashes often occur. Regardless of the type of crash or the type of vehicle involved, the Office of Traffic Safety identifies speed, driving under the influence, and lack of seatbelts as the primary causes of these accident fatalities in Nevada.

Preventing Fatal Accidents in Las Vegas

Las Vegas Highway Patrol are aware of the spike in fatal accidents, and plan to increase enforcement and community outreach to decrease these numbers. One of the biggest areas they hope to focus on is drivers under the influence, as well as distracted drivers. NHP troopers will be enforcing Breathalyzer tests at traffic stops, especially at night near Las Vegas’s downtown and casino areas. Additionally, they will be on the lookout for distracted drivers, and will be conducting traffic stops for those texting/calling on the phone while driving. [2]

In addition to these precautions, Las Vegas Police and Nevada Highway Patrol are working together to prevent “off road” drivers off Interstate-15. Most Las Vegas residents are familiar with how Interstate 15 going towards California gets congested on Sundays, as Californians return home from their weekend in Vegas. Backups can go as far as twelve miles and there are often many collisions in the area. This traffic backup makes some drivers impatient, and some decide to drive on unmarked “off roads” or the shoulder of the road to beat traffic. Starting April 25, NHP has begun stopping vehicles who try doing this. Officers remind drivers that such erratic behavior can cause more traffic delays, as well as serious accidents. While heavy traffic is frustrating, try planning ahead so you have plenty of time to get home. [3]

Motorcycle Safety in Nevada

As mentioned previously, motorcycle fatalities are on the rise in Nevada, especially in the Clark County area. Motorcyclists are twenty-six times more likely to die in a traffic accident than someone in a car [4]. Seventy-eight percent of motorcyclists die due to head on collision. However, these statistics should not deter someone from riding their motorcycle, and with proper precautions, one increase their chances of staying safe. The following are some ways to keep yourself safe on a motorcycle:

  • Wear a Helmet:  Yes, this may sound repetitive or simple, but wearing a helmet decrease a motorcyclists chance of dying by a significant percent and is required by law in the State of Nevada.
  • Before Riding:  Check the motorcycle’s tire pressure and tread depth, as well as the hand and foot brakes. If you are carrying cargo, ensure that it is secured properly and balanced properly.
  • Passengers:  If you are carrying a passenger, ensure they mount the bike only after you start the engine. Additionally, they should be as far forward as possible , directly behind you, with their feet on the foot pedal. Remind the passenger to keep their feet away from the muffler at all times.
  • On the Road:
    • Drive responsible: make sure you are aware of the local laws and regulations around motorcycles. This will ensure that you are driving safely around other vehicles.
    • Leave plenty of room between your motorcycle and other vehicles
    • Be the most attentive at intersections, and always be on the lookout for pedestrians.
    • At night, increase the visibility of your motorcycle by adding reflective material.
    • The motorcycle’s headlights should be on at all times.
  • Do not drive under the influence:  Driving under the influence can cause delayed reaction times, blurred vision and the inability to react to your surroundings.  Anyone riding a bike should never hit the road while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.

Preventing fatalities on the road is an important step in making Nevada roads safer. Motorcycle accidents can be prevented if we take simple steps like those listed above. However, it is important that we share the road respectfully, and that cars stay mindful of motorcyclists and give them the right of way when necessary.






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