Doing the Math on Driving Dangers

Madeleine Jones
September 12, 2016

black and white image of rollover vehicle, car accident208 motorists died on Nevada roads in 2016. This is 8 more than died the year before at the same time and it’s a figure that shows the state’s “Zero Fatalities” initiative isn’t working quite the way legislators had planned. It’s a statistic that shows an increase in motorists coupled with increased incidents of distracted driving and other factors are making America’s roads increasingly hazardous. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured due to negligence, call an experienced Las Vegas injury attorney at Cogburn Law Offices today for a free case consultation.

National Accident Trends

2015 was a bad year for motorists. 38,300 people were killed, and nearly 4.4 million were injured in automobile accidents. The number of fatalities rose 8% over 2014 and represented the largest percentage increase in over 50 years. According to the National Safety Council, the increase was driven in part by an improving economy, lower unemployment, and cheaper gas, The NSC based their assertion on statistics taken in 2008-2009 during the middle of the recession which showed a 9% decrease in fatalities during that time. When these factors are combined, it equates to more people on the road which increases the number of accidents on America’s highways and streets.

In fact, the number of miles driven between 2014 to 2015 increased 3.5%. During this period, accident fatality rates were 1.22 per 100 million miles traveled. This was a 5% increase from the previous year. These risks increase during the summer months when more and more motorists take their families on road trips.

Leading Causes of Crashes Remain Unchanged

Drunk Driving Between 2003 and 2012, 1,025 people were killed in accidents involving drunk drivers. It’s a sobering fact that an estimated that 1.8% of Nevada drivers drive while intoxicated every month. During this same period in America, 119,100 drivers, passengers, and pedestrians were killed by drunk drivers.

Road Rage – Drivers losing their temper pose a serious risk to other motorists and pedestrians. In 2013, 247 people were killed by aggressive drivers. This is a nearly 10-fold increase from 2004 when just 26 drivers were involved in fatal crashes.

Distracted DrivingThe State of Nevada issued nearly 12,000 distracted driving citations in 2012. These citations were issued to drivers who were talking on the phone, eating food, and generally not paying attention. The increased enforcement efforts are part of a national trend aimed at reducing distracted driving accidents. Even with increased awareness and law enforcement presence, 8 people are killed, and nearly 1,161 more are injured every day in distracted driving accidents.

Speed – “Speed kills” is a lesson included in every driver’s safety course for a reason that car accident lawyers in Las Vegas are all too familiar with. From 2005-2014, 112,559 motor vehicle fatalities included speed as a contributing factor. In 2014, speed was a contributing factor in 28% of all motor vehicle accident fatalities. Surprising, the majority of these accidents do not occur on highways where high speeds are common. In 2014, nearly 1/3 occurred on minor roads and city streets, and roughly 1/2 occurred on rural roads and arteries aside from highways. In fact, over 1/2 speed related fatality accidents happened on roads with speed limits less than 55 MPH.

Most Dangerous Counties in Nevada

Clark County remains the most dangerous county in Nevada for motorists. As of today, there have been 145 fatal crashes this year. This is 18 (14.17%) more than last year at the same time. Of these fatalities, 23 were caused by alcohol. The remainder were caused by factors including distracted driving, road rage, excessive speed, and poor vehicle maintenance.