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Fatal car crashes in Nevada reach 10-year high in 2018

Despite the efforts of law enforcement and aggressive public service campaigns, the number of car crashes in Nevada has not gone down. The Nevada Department of Public Safety has found that the number of car crash fatalities went up to 331 in 2018, marking a 10-year high. 226 of those people were killed in Clark County. The biggest year-to-month increase was in August, which saw 36 fatalities compared to 16 in 2017.

A social media campaign begun last year by Las Vegas police warned viewers of the dangers of speeding as well as distracted driving and impaired driving. Metro Police, together with Nevada Highway Patrol, also implemented a DUI strike team of officers to patrol problematic areas and catch impaired drivers. After less than two months, the team had pulled over more than 150 drivers.

These were just some of the efforts that went into preventing accidents. The Nevada Department of Public Safety noted several positive trends, such as a 23 percent drop in pedestrian deaths and an 11 percent dip in bicyclist fatalities. After nine years of increase, pedestrian deaths saw a decline.

On the other hand, crashes involving unrestrained vehicle occupants (i.e., occupants not wearing a seatbelt) went up 23 percent. Drugs and alcohol continue to involve drivers in fatal accidents. In 2018, there 32 alcohol-related deaths and 22 marijuana-related fatalities.

Those who survive a car accident will still be left with medical expenses, lost wages, vehicle damage and other losses. To be compensated for these, they might opt to file a personal injury claim against the responsible driver's auto insurance company. Under the rule of contributory negligence, victims can file so long as their degree of fault is less than that of the defendant. With a lawyer, they may proceed to the negotiation stage and prepare for litigation if a settlement cannot be achieved.

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