Las Vegas has been named one of the most walkable cities in the country by a recent Harris Poll survey conducted on behalf of Property Casualty Insurers Association of America. This same poll also revealed that 32% of Americans believed Las Vegas was the mostly like place to come across distracted pedestrians. It is not just Nevada that has a distracted walking issue; this problem exists across the country.
Some cities in America have passed laws against distracted walking. For example, Fort Lee, New Jersey passed a ban on texting while walking, and violators could face an $85.00 fine. Chicago joined Honolulu as the second major city in America considering passing a distracted walking law that would be punishable by a monetary fine. Chicago’s law aims to reduce its distracted walking fatalities, which have claimed 60 lives since 2016.
The push for legislative intervention is not surprising. The World Health Organization (WHO) asserts that those who text and walk are four times as likely to fail to look both ways before crossing the street. Research also shows that distracted drivers take longer to cross the street than their focused counterparts—as much as 18% longer.
A 2017 National Public Radio (NPR) report notes that the number of traffic-related pedestrian fatalities increased 11% in 2016 to nearly 6,000. This was the biggest single-year increase ever recorded. It was also the highest number of deaths in over 20 years. It is not just the pedestrians who are distracted; drivers are unfocused, as well.
Although Nevada does not yet have a distracted walking ban on the books, it may follow the trend that is starting to gain popularity across the nation. Nevada’s Department of Transportation (NDOT) has started a marketing campaign aimed at letting the public know that crossing the road while distracted can have deadly results.
Pedestrian Deaths on the Rise
Nevada—specifically southern Nevada—is showing a trend of it having a record number of pedestrian deaths. The most recent state research shows that pedestrian deaths just in Clark County have increased as much as 65% in 2017 when compared to the same period in 2016. Reduced speed limits by drivers and increased control of the vehicles can help reduce pedestrian accidents. The WHO reports that reducing driving speed by just 5 miles per hour can reduce deaths by as much as 30%.
One of the more high-risk areas for pedestrians in Clark County is Boulder Highway. Nearly one tenth of Nevada’s pedestrian fatalities over the past decade have happened on this highway. The Review-Journal reports that most accidents involving pedestrians occur between 6pm and midnight. These accidents are common on any wide street with eight lanes of traffic, particularly in hotspots around the valley, like Boulder Highway. Both drivers and pedestrians must be particularly aware of their surroundings, especially after dark.
Personal Injury Lawyers
Pedestrian accidents can be devastating. If you or someone you know has been injured in a distracted driving or walking accident, contact the skilled personal injury attorneys at Parry & Pfau today.
(image courtesy of Brandon Wong)