Car accidents are one of the most common causes of serious injuries and deaths in Las Vegas. According to crash facts compiled by the Nevada Department of Public Safety, 304 victims lost their lives in traffic accidents in 2019 (the most recent year data is available). Over 1,000 other victims suffered serious injuries that required emergency medical care.
Keeping yourself safe from a Las Vegas car accident requires vigilance and due diligence as a driver. Use these safety tips to decrease your risk of getting involved in a collision.
Practice Defensive Driving
Defensive driving is an effective way to prevent many motor vehicle collisions, especially in a bustling city like Las Vegas. The principles of defensive driving are to 1) pay attention to your surroundings, 2) constantly be alert for potential risks and 3) prepare to respond safely to avoid a hazard at any moment. Defensive driving is a smart habit that could put you in a position to prevent a car accident before it happens.
Drive defensively by constantly scanning the road ahead of you for potential hazards, such as a disabled vehicle stopped in the road or a drunk driver weaving between multiple lanes of traffic. You should also be aware of the vehicles that surround you, such as the driver next to you that may not see you and tries to merge on top of you. Be prepared to hit the brakes or safely maneuver out of harm’s way if you notice a hazard.
Never Text and Drive
Despite widely known risks, a large number of drivers still drive while distracted in Las Vegas each day. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,142 lives were lost in car accidents involving distracted drivers in 2020 – representing 8 percent of all fatal accidents that year. Cell phones are the most common culprit behind distracted driving.
Nevada has a handheld cell phone ban that makes it illegal for drivers to use a handheld electronic device while operating a motor vehicle. This includes using a device to talk, text, email, scroll through social media and take photos. It is legal to talk on a hands-free device – however, this is still a form of distracted driving that can cause a car accident. The best way to protect yourself and others is to keep 100 percent of your attention on the road and the driving task at all times.
Increase Your Following Distance
One of the most frequently reported types of car accidents in Las Vegas is the rear-end collision. This is when the front of one vehicle collides with the rear of another, often due to issues such as following too closely, speeding, tailgating or brake-checking. Rear-end collisions are especially common in busy and traffic-heavy areas, such as the Las Vegas Strip or downtown districts.
Even at a low speed, a rear-end collision can cause serious injuries, such as broken bones and whiplash. You can reduce your risk of getting into a rear-end car accident in Las Vegas by increasing your following distance and reducing your speed. This can allow you to stop your vehicle in time to avoid a collision if the driver in front of you suddenly hits the brakes.
Obey All Traffic Laws and Roadway Rules
No matter how many years you’ve been driving or how confident you are in your driving abilities, it is critical to follow every traffic law and rule that applies to you in Nevada. They are in place for your safety. Exceeding the speed limit on the freeway or rolling through a stop sign in your neighborhood may seem harmless, but in reality, these mistakes greatly increase your risk of causing a car accident. Obey stop signs, speed limits, red lights, drunk driving laws, rights-of-way rules and all other laws that apply to you as a motor vehicle driver in Las Vegas to minimize the odds of getting into an accident.