According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Nevada ranks fifth in the pedestrian fatality rate (assessed per capita). Across the nation, one pedestrian is killed every two hours. Every seven minutes, one is injured. The Reno Police Department has done a statistical analysis revealing that since 2010, Reno’s pedestrian death rate is twice the national average and 60 percent more than the overall rate for the state.
Due to the vulnerability of pedestrians, if they are not killed in the accident, their injuries are often severe and life-altering. In response to the troubling statistics, the Nevada Department of Public Safety has done its own research and investigation. The department reports that 69 Nevada pedestrians were killed in vehicular accidents in 2014.
Nevada Pedestrian Fatality and Injury Statistics
Nevada has developed a Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHPS) after studying pedestrian fatalities and injuries from 2009 to 2013. During that time span, 247 Nevada pedestrians were killed and 736 were severely injured. The goal of SHPS is to learn why the accidents occurred so they can learn how to prevent them. The study discovered that pedestrians and drivers both bear some responsibility for making errors that led to the accidents. In addition, unsafe road conditions contributed to pedestrian and vehicle accidents.
Pedestrians themselves bear some responsibility for the accidents that have occurred. Some errors pedestrians make include:
- Crossing between intersections where there is no crosswalk. This error accounted for 66 percent of all Nevada pedestrian injuries and deaths.
- Darting into the road without looking for oncoming cars.
- Failing to obey traffic signs applicable to pedestrians.
- Being invisible to drivers.
- Crossing while distracted by texting or talking on their cell phone.
- Rushing to cross before or shortly after the signal turns to “Don’t Walk.”
- Walking and crossing in areas where pedestrians are not allowed.
The Nevada SHPS is developing “awareness campaigns” to educate the public on the dangers and how to avoid becoming a pedestrian fatality statistic.
Drivers need awareness training and to develop understanding of their part in causing these fatalities and injuries. Almost one fourth of all pedestrian fatalities occur at intersections. Drivers need to realize that whether or not there are white lines marking a crosswalk, they need to assume that there is one. Other driver errors include:
- Distracted driving.
- Failing to yield the right-of-way to the pedestrian.
- Turning without signaling or watching for pedestrians.
- Driving while under the influence.
- Not driving safely according to road or weather conditions.
Road Safety Issues Contributing to Pedestrian Fatalities
Some problems are attributable to the state and federal government for failing to maintain safe road conditions. Lanes may be too narrow, speed limits may be too high, lighting may be improper or flashing lights warning drivers that an intersection is coming up may be missing or non-working.
High-Risk Demographics and Dates
Some interesting statistics reported by the SHSP include:
- Men are more likely than women to be killed, particularly men between the ages of 46-55.
- Friday is the most dangerous day for walking. Between 2009 and 2013, 200 pedestrians were seriously or fatally injured on Fridays.
- Saturdays are the second most dangerous day for pedestrians.
- Sunday is the safest day to take a walk.
Who is Liable for a Nevada Car Accident that Results in a Pedestrian Fatality?
The easy answer to the question of who is liable when a driver kills a pedestrian is, “It all depends.” The same rules that apply to any negligence case apply in this situation. If an injured pedestrian, or the family of a pedestrian who was killed, want to sue the driver, they must prove all the elements of negligence that is required in any personal injury lawsuit. For more detailed answers, please see our Car Accident FAQ page.
If you were injured in a pedestrian accident, or someone you love was killed. You need the services of an attorney who is familiar with the laws applicable to pedestrian accidents. Contact Reno pedestrian accident attorney Eric S. Stovall for a free consultation.
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