Nevada Rolls Out Updated Highway Safety Program

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Madeleine Jones
February 22, 2017

Nevada released its latest (2016) Highway Safety Plan as part of the 2010 ‘Zero Fatalities’ program designed to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries. The Highway Safety Plan is promulgated by the Nevada Executive Committee on Traffic Safety (NECTS). The Safety Plan identifies an articulable safety issue, for example, people who don’t wear seatbelts, and offers solutions based on a variety of studies and data measures. If you or a family member was seriously injured in car accident, or you lost a loved one, call a Las Vegas car accident attorney at Cogburn Law Offices today for a free case consultation.

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infographic_Nevada Updated Highway Safety Program

History of the Safety Plan

The Safety Plan was conceived in 2004 as a vehicle to cooperate and share data with the Department of Transportation (DOT). At the time, Nevada and the DOT were pioneering projects on behavior and enforcement, to identify data-driven techniques that improve traffic safety. The Safety Plan enabled Nevada and the DOT to share data in an efficient manner.

The Safety Plan identifies three measurement areas for success. First, the number of vehicle fatalities. Second, the number of serious injuries. And, third, the rate of deaths per annual vehicle miles traveled.

Overview of Performance Measures

In 2016, the NECTS identified 14 performance measures to analyze traffic safety. Those measures were:

    • Overall traffic fatalities.
    • The number of serious injuries in traffic crashes.
    • Number of fatalities involving a driver or passenger with a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 or above.
    • Deaths related to speeding.
    • Motorcyclist fatalities.
    • Motorcyclist fatalities who were un-helmeted.
    • Child passenger safety.
    • Distracted driving.
    • Rate of fatalities per annual vehicle miles traveled.
    • Pedestrian fatalities.
    • Traffic records.
    • Rate of fatalities for young drivers, aged 20 and under.
    • Unrestrained passengers fatalities.
  • Bicycle fatalities.

The Safety Plan identifies the number of fatalities in each category, suggested possible solutions, and hypothesized benchmarks to measure the success of those solutions.

Child Passenger Safety

The Safety Plan found that approximately 562 children, ages 0 to 6, were crash victims who were brought to trauma centers. The researchers noted that restrained children suffered severe injuries at much lower rates, 6.2 percent, than unrestrained children, 21.8 percent. The Safety Plan compiled several studies and determined that rollover crashes had the highest incidence rate for incapacitating injuries for children.

The Safety Plan identified increased use of restraints as critical to reducing these rates of child injuries. The Safety Program proposes to fund ten distinct projects throughout Nevada to educate and encourage parents to ensure that their children are properly restrained while riding in vehicles. Specifically, the plan targets low-income communities to encourage greater use of safety belts.