Las Vegas is not a very safe city for pedestrian traffic. According the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), in 2013 Las Vegas hit its ten year pedestrian fatality peak at 69 reported pedestrian fatalities. Unfortunately, with the growth of the Las Vegas population, these numbers are not expected to decrease dramatically.
So many of these tragic pedestrian fatalities are related to the recklessness and negligence of Las Vegas drivers. Many drivers completely disregard the laws that govern pedestrian foot traffic. There is also a general disregard in Las Vegas for individuals who travel by foot. This article is intended to help educate individuals on crosswalk right of way in Las Vegas and other laws that govern pedestrians so that we can maintain safer roadways.
When Pedestrians Have Right of Way
Crosswalks: In Nevada, according to NRS 484B.287, when an individual is using a crosswalk they typically have the right of way. In addition, when individuals are crossing the road at an intersection and obeying the crossing signing at the intersection, they also should be given the right of way. In both of these cases, drivers are expected to yield as individuals cross the street.
Sidewalks and Trails: Las Vegas has a very nicely structured sidewalk and trail system or pedestrians. When an individual is on these pathways they should feel safe. In fact, it is illegal in most instances for any motorized vehicles to also use these pathways. If there is a vehicle that has moved onto a sidewalk or pedestrian pathway they will be held liable for any injuries that they cause.
When Pedestrians Don’t Have Right of Way
Crosswalk Sudden Movements: The only time that a pedestrian is not given the right of way is if they suddenly stepped off a curb or ran into the street suddenly. It might not be the driver’s fault if a pedestrian makes either of these types of sudden movements when crossing the street and they do not give the oncoming vehicles enough time to stop or get out of the way.
Jaywalking: If a pedestrian does not cross at an intersection but instead decides to cross in the middle of a street they are most likely jaywalking. Jaywalking in Las Vegas could subject to a stiff fine. These fines are created to help deter individuals from crossing streets in unsafe ways. Regardless of the fine, if an individual does not cross the street at a crosswalk, they must always yield to all vehicle traffic. One cannot expect that traffic will stop for them if they are not crossing at an intersection.
Be Careful on Las Vegas Roadways
If you are walking on Las Vegas roadways, please be very careful. Even if you are obeying the law, there are drivers on the street that will not be paying attention and that could not see you. Carefully use crosswalks and make sure that the drivers see you before you venture out onto the street. Here are some general tips that could help you stay safe:
- Use well lit pathways to give yourself the greatest opportunity to be seen by drivers on the road.
- Don’t use your phone while crossing the street (even in an intersection).
- If you have been drinking, have someone sober walk with you or call a cab.
- Do not wear headphones when crossing the street as you might not be able to hear cars approaching.
- Do not assume that a driver has seen you before you start to cross the street.
If you have questions about an injury that you or a loved one has received due to another driver’s negligence when crossing the street in Las Vegas you are welcome to call our experienced Las Vegas pedestrian accident injury lawyers at Parry & Pfau. We will be happy to offer you a free consultation and give you all the information you need.
We can be reached at 702-912-4451 or you can click here to request a call from one of our Las Vegas personal injury lawyers to get more information about your rights if you were involved in a Las Vegas pedestrian accident.
Matt Pfau is an attorney and founding partner at the law firm Parry & Pfau. Matt has a background in business consulting, estate planning, business start-ups and bankruptcy and is licensed to practice in both Nevada and California. A partner in the firm Parry & Pfau, he can be reached at 702-912-4451 or firstname.lastname@example.org.