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Who Has the Right of Way in Las Vegas?

Being a pedestrian in this country has become increasingly risky over the past several years, and Nevada’s cities are no exception to this trend. The number of traffic fatalities involving pedestrians has been increasing steadily since 2010. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 29 pedestrian traffic-related deaths occurred in 2010 as opposed to 46 in 2013. Many of the pedestrian traffic-related accidents are caused by a disregard of foot traffic, carelessness on the part of both drivers and pedestrians, and a misunderstanding of the expectations of each party. So the question is: Who has the right of way in Las Vegas?

Nevada Traffic Laws

Similar to the methods used by other high-pedestrian cities like Austin, TX and New York City, NY, law enforcement in Las Vegas is trying to prevent pedestrian traffic-related accidents by cracking down on jaywalkers who are failing to yield to traffic. In fact, in Austin a jaywalker’s arrest made national and international headlines. Of note, jaywalking in Las Vegas can result in a heavy monetary fine. That being said, these fees have yet to make the city’s streets safe for pedestrians and drivers to cohabitate.

Under Nevada Revised Statute 484B.287, pedestrians typically have the right of way, especially when they are using a crosswalk or obeying crossing signs at a local intersection. Thus, Nevada drivers are expected to yield to these pedestrians when they are crossing the road. There are a few exceptions, however, to pedestrians having the right of way in Nevada. If a pedestrian steps off of a curb or darts onto the street suddenly, getting in the way of oncoming traffic and not giving the drivers enough time to brake or swerve out of the way, then the pedestrian does not have the right of way.

Staying Safe in Las Vegas

Thus, if you are a pedestrian in Nevada and you fail to cross the road on a crosswalk or at an intersection, you must yield to traffic all of the time. Moreover, you may be ticketed by Las Vegas law enforcement for jaywalking. Whether or not you are crossing the road according to the law, you should always use extreme caution in order to prevent a traffic accident. Things you can do to help keep yourself and others safe include crossing in a well-lit area, not getting distracted by phones or other things, and scanning the road both ways frequently while you cross to look out for unexpected cars. As a pedestrian, you should assume that drivers cannot see you even if you attempt to warn them. Your risk of being in a pedestrian accident can be significantly decreased by behaving both carefully and responsibly.

Personal Injury Help

Accidents happen every day, no matter how hard we work to prevent them. If you or someone you know has been involved in a Nevada pedestrian-related traffic accident, be sure consult Parry & Pfau as soon as possible. These experienced Nevada personal injury attorneys can help you seek the monetary compensation to which you may be entitled.

(image courtesy of Bethany Legg)