Recent reports by the Nevada Office of Traffic Safety indicate that the number of motor vehicle crashes resulting in serious injury or fatality in the state has steadily risen over the past few years. After experiencing approximately 431 fatalities and more than 2,000 serious traffic injuries in 2006, the state had enjoyed a steady decline in crashes until the number of tragedies began to rise again in 2010. Since then, significant traffic injuries and deaths on Nevada’s roadways have gradually increased.
According to preliminary reports, there were approximately 321 traffic fatalities in 2015 alone- up from 291 in 2014. Unfortunately, 2016 is shaping up to be even more deadly for Nevada drivers. The Fatal Analysis Reporting System (FARS) reveals that from January 1, 2015 to August 28, 2015 there were 175 fatality crashes resulting in 194 deaths. A comparison of the same dates in 2016 shows that 13 more crashes have resulted in 7 more deaths.
Reducing Traffic Injuries, Fatalities in Nevada
Fortunately, there are numerous things individuals can do to help ensure that everyone stays safe on Nevada’s roadways. While not a comprehensive list, the following is a good place to start.
- Safety Restraints: The use of safety restraints is the single most important thing passengers can do to reduce their risk of serious injury or fatality in a crash. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), using safety restraints can reduce the chances of being seriously injured or killed in a crash by 50 percent. Still, many Nevada residents are not buckling up. Of the individuals who lost their lives to traffic accidents in 2015, at least 72 were not using safety belts or child safety seats.
- Impaired Driving: Every 51 minutes another life is lost to an impaired driving crash. While the number of DUI crashes are down in Nevada, impaired driving is still a major factor in injury and fatality crashes. Individuals should avoid driving when under the influence of alcohol, drugs and prescription medications.
- Distracted Driving: According to the NHTSA, there are more than 3,500 distracted driving crashes in Nevada each year, and an estimated 16 percent of deadly crashes involved some form of distraction. Individuals who text and drive are 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash, and 4 times more likely to be in crashes serious enough to cause injuries.