Traveling by foot has many benefits to recommend it, but in Nevada, this method of transportation is not without its risks. In fact, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association, early reports on 2016 pedestrian casualties indicate a sharp rise over 2015. The statistics are projected by comparing the deaths in the first six months of the year with those of the year before, and they show a 24 percent increase. In 2015, Nevada was the seventh highest state for pedestrian fatality rates.
People on foot are most likely to be hit by a motor vehicle after dark, with a large portion of these typically happening between 6 p.m. and midnight. While the number of traffic accident fatalities in the United States have decreased gradually, the percentage of fatal pedestrian collisions has risen from 11 percent to 15 percent between 2006 and 2015. Some experts speculate that this could be due to smartphone use by those behind the wheel and on foot.
The Nevada Department of Public Safety reminds everyone on the roads that all intersections have an implied crosswalk, even if there are no traffic signals or painted lines present. However, not only is it dangerous for pedestrians to step into a crosswalk when surrounding vehicles may not have time to stop, it is against the law. Other rules include the following:
- Walking on the left side of the road when there are no sidewalks
- Using sidewalks, pedestrian bridges, tunnels or crosswalks whenever possible
- Moving straight across the street unless a crosswalk indicates another path
Regardless of whether pedestrians are obeying the laws, motorists always have the responsibility to avoid an accident. This includes being aware and prepared to yield at crosswalks, particularly in school zones or when a pedestrian has a service animal or is carrying a white cane.