Report: Fewer Nevada traffic deaths in 2011 |

Report: Fewer Nevada traffic deaths in 2011

The Associated Press

Despite a slight increase in pedestrian deaths, the Nevada Office of Traffic Safety says the number of people killed in traffic accidents in Nevada plunged in 2011 and will end the year at slightly more than half of the record 2006 total.

As of Sunday, 231 people had died this year in Nevada traffic accidents around the state. That was down 22 from the same time in 2010, and was far fewer than the record 431 fatalities in 2006.

Just 64 of the deaths involved alcohol as a factor, according to the report, or about half the 126 in 2008.

“People are getting the message,” said Traci Pearl, administrator of the Nevada Office of Traffic Safety.

She attributed the decline to more police enforcement, greater attention by motorists, less drinking and driving, and more frequent use of seat belts.

Records showed that through Sunday, 42 pedestrians had died this year in Nevada, already up from 41 in 2010. Twenty-eight of those cases were in Clark County, two fewer than in 2010.

Las Vegas was ranked the sixth most dangerous city for pedestrians in the spring by Transportation for America, an advocacy group based in Washington, D.C. It found 2.5 pedestrian deaths per 100,000 residents per year, above the 1.6 national average.

Reno reported nine pedestrian deaths, up from four in 2010.

Winter driving tips:

Check road conditions before you travel at

• Before driving, check tires for sufficient and proper tread and air pressure, check all fluid levels, wiper blades, and be certain all frost and ice is removed from windows.

• Be certain that everyone is properly buckled up before moving the vehicle.

• Reduce speed. Speed limits are based on normal road and weather conditions, not winter road conditions.

• Do not slam on brakes. Apply steady pressure on ABS-equipped vehicles and pump the brakes if necessary on non-ABS vehicles.

• Always comply with all posted chain requirements.

• Don’t be in a hurry to get to your destination; expect delays on the freeway, at gas stations and traffic lights, due to the heavier holiday traffic.

• Use extra caution on bridges, ramps, overpasses and shaded areas – they may freeze first.

• If your vehicle begins to skid, steer in the direction of the slide and slowly remove your foot from the accelerator.

• Remember that four-wheel-drive vehicles cannot necessarily turn or stop any better than two-wheel-drive vehicles on snow and ice.

Source: Nevada Department of Public Safety and the Nevada Department of Transportation