Las Vegas, Nevada is one of the country’s most dangerous cities for pedestrians. As one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the U.S., it is not surprising that thousands of pedestrians walk the city on any given day. Unfortunately, unsafe streets, negligent drivers and distracted walkers can lead to serious pedestrian accidents. In five years, 68 pedestrians lost their lives in Las Vegas traffic accidents. As a pedestrian, decrease the risk of an accident by practicing defensive walking.
How to Walk Defensively
Defensive walking is like defensive driving. Defensive driving is the practice of anticipating the actions of other drivers on the road. Rather than only focusing on your driving, pay attention to the vehicles around you. The same principle applies to defensive walking. Rather than keeping your attention focused on you (or your cellphone), pay attention to your surroundings. Anticipate what the motorists around you will do.
Driver error is one of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents. Drivers too often speed, drive while distracted, drive drowsy, text and drive, and fail to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. These acts of negligence and recklessness could cost a pedestrian his or her life. Do not trust drivers around you to keep you safe as you walk through Las Vegas. Instead, take your safety into your own hands with defensive walking.
As a pedestrian, you are the road’s most vulnerable user. Protect yourself from a catastrophic accident by never assuming drivers will see you or stop to let you cross.
- Watch for drivers who may break the rules or fail to yield you the right-of-way or not see you at all.
- Keep your eye on all vehicles in your vicinity that could potentially cause you harm.
- Do not assume a driver will come to a stop at a red light or crosswalk.
- Wait until the road is clear or all drivers have fully stopped before entering a roadway.
Tips on Crossing Intersections
In 2016, almost 6,000 pedestrians lost their lives in traffic accidents in the U.S. Most pedestrian accidents in Las Vegas occur while the pedestrian is crossing the street. While using a crosswalk, keep defensive walking in mind. Do not stroll into the road without looking just because you have the right-of-way. Defend yourself from harm by watching for motorists and anticipating what they may do.
- Know your rights-of-way. At a marked intersection in Las Vegas, you must wait for the Walk signal to cross. At an unmarked intersection, you have the right-of-way.
- Anticipate negligent drivers. Assume a driver will run a red light, not that he or she will stop. Do not step into the road until the driver has come to a complete stop.
- Look both ways. Always wait safely on the curb and look both ways for oncoming drivers before crossing the street, even if you have the right to cross.
- Think before you step. Before you leave the curb, ask yourself if an oncoming driver has a reasonable amount of time to stop before you put yourself in danger.
- Cross safely and efficiently. Cross a street as quickly as you can, but do so safely. If a stopped vehicle is blocking your vision, stop when you get to the end of the vehicle to see if another is approaching.
Give yourself enough time to safely cross the street. If you approach an intersection with a flashing hand signal, it means it is about to change and you should not enter the crosswalk. Wait for the next Walk signal before crossing. Defensive walking can also refer to taking steps to decrease the risk of a motorist hitting you, such as wearing brightly colored clothing to make yourself more visible. Always take the time to check the road again before crossing.
If you were injured in a pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact a personal injury lawyer in Las Vegas at Claggett & Sykes Law Firm. We offer free consultations and are available to chat 24/7. Call (702) 333-7777 or fill out a contact form.