Traffic fatalities trend higher in Nevada
December 10, 2018
As of the end of November, there were 306 fatalities in crashes on Nevada roads, streets and highways.
Andrew Bennett of the Office of Traffic Safety said that's 18 more than through the first 11 months of the calendar year than in 2017. Within that total, 53 of the victims were motorcyclists, two more than the previous year.
But according to a spreadsheet released by the Office of Traffic Safety, the number of pedestrians killed was down significantly from 81 to 71 during that same period, a difference of 12 percent.
While the same number of bicyclists were killed — eight — the number of deaths by those riding scooters fell from nine in 2017 to just three this year.
That category includes scooters, mopeds, ATVs and other motorized vehicles not listed in other categories.
The data shows more deaths of persons riding in vehicles not restrained by seatbelts or car seats than last year. That number rose from 67 to 81 so far, a 20 percent increase.
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Bennett said people need to be vigilant through the end of the year and plan ahead if they're drinking alcohol. He said consistently about 30 percent of crashes are the result of impaired driving either from alcohol or drugs.
He said another serious cause is distracted driving and the biggest culprit there is cell phones. But he said that's more difficult to prove.
"The only way an officer can say for sure they were distracted is if the person admits it," he said.
Citations for illegal cell phone use while driving range from $50 to $250 and the conviction gets reported to the driver's insurance company.
Clark County saw total fatalities increase from 179 to 190. Of those, 57 were pedestrians but that's down a bit from the 62 reported last year.
Washoe County was flat with 10 pedestrian deaths in each of the two years while the number of fatalities overall rose from 38 to 40.
Carson City reported two fatalities in 2018 compared with three last year. One of those was a pedestrian.
Douglas County suffered just one fatal in 2018 compared to 11 the year before, and no pedestrian deaths.
While there was one less fatal crash in Lyon County this year, the number of deaths rose from nine to 12. Only one pedestrian was in that list.
Churchill County fatalities fell from six to just four and none was a pedestrian.