Pedestrian deaths have become more and more of an epidemic as the number of distracted walkers increases. With new mobile technologies and the emergence of attention-grabbing apps like Pokémon GO, the death toll for pedestrians walking into traffic doesn’t seem to be dropping anytime soon. Both motorists and pedestrians have responsibilities to avoid accidents by paying attention and following the rules of the road. When pedestrians on the Strip walk around distractedly, they risk their own lives and the safety of Nevada’s drivers. Learn more about the Las Vegas Distracted pedestrian consequences as well as associated driver consequences.
Las Vegas Distracted Pedestrian Consequences
Approximately 75% of Nevada’s population lives in Clark County, which encompasses Las Vegas and the popular Strip. From 2008-2011, the most recent data the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has available, 140 pedestrian deaths occurred in Clark County alone. Collision sites for visitor fatalities concentrated near the Strip, along Interstate 15 and Las Vegas Boulevard, while many other fatalities involved residents on local roads. About one-third of all pedestrian deaths in this study involved alcohol-impaired walking.
Between alcohol impairment and mobile distractions, pedestrians are often at least partially at fault for collisions with motor vehicles. Although motor vehicles on the Strip legally have to give the right of way to pedestrians on crosswalks, often drivers do not see pedestrians who are crossing when they aren’t supposed to in enough time to stop. Negligent drivers speed through pedestrian crosswalks, making it important for pedestrians to use extra diligence and check twice before crossing – even when they have the right of way. The pedestrian death toll will most likely continue to rise in Nevada until drivers and pedestrians resist such distractions.
Las Vegas Driver Consequences
When a driver strikes a distracted pedestrian who crossed without the right of way, who is at fault? This is the question many drivers find themselves asking after accidently colliding with pedestrians on the Strip. Walking while drunk or distracted on smartphones is a serious problem that many pedestrians don’t take seriously enough, since it’s not technically a crime. Everyone knows the dangers of driving drunk, but not many know the risks of walking drunk.
Determining fault in a pedestrian-car accident involves the judge looking at the evidence of your case and deciding percentages of fault to each party. If the pedestrian was clearly at fault, either for falling into the road while drunk or walking into traffic while on the phone, the judge will rule in the driver’s favor. This means the pedestrian cannot sue, and the driver may receive compensation for any harm or damages the pedestrian caused the driver.
Nevada’s Comparative Fault Laws
If the judge rules the driver at fault, he or she will have to pay for the pedestrian’s past and future medical bills relating to the accident, lost wages, lost earning capacity, and pain and suffering. These damages can be extensive, resulting in thousands of dollars’ in costs to the driver – even though the pedestrian was partially at fault for his or her distraction. Nevada uses a modified comparative negligence law, meaning the courts will divide compensation based on the percentage of fault for each party.
For example, if the judge rules the pedestrian was 90% at fault for the accident for walking distracted, but you were 10% at fault for failing to come to a stop at a crosswalk, you would receive $90,000 of a $100,000 settlement. The judge would subtract your percentage of fault from your total award. If the judge finds you more than 49% at fault for an accident, you will not receive any compensation.
If you’ve been involved in an accident involving a distracted pedestrian, you could face a lengthy court process and may end up paying for a pedestrian’s mistake. Always work with an experienced attorney if you’re involved in a pedestrian accident on the Strip, whether you were the distracted walker or the driver.