Las Vegas one of the country’s most dangerous cities for pedestrians

Las Vegas was named one of the country’s most dangerous cities for pedestrians, in part due to the city’s high tourism population.

Areas with a high rate of tourism, such as in Las Vegas, can be dangerous for pedestrians year-round despite the weather. Statistics provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration highlighted the extreme danger posed to pedestrians in the Las Vegas area and around the state. Last year, 70 people in Nevada were struck while walking and lost their lives. This number was significantly higher in 2014 than any other year in the past decade.

How does Las Vegas compare with other crowded cities across the country? A study called "Dangerous by Design," conducted by Smart Growth America last year, put Las Vegas in the 13th spot for the most dangerous metropolitan areas in America, in terms of pedestrian safety. In fact, Las Vegas was considered more dangerous than Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City.

Factors contributing to pedestrian accidents

Tourism may contribute in part to this danger, since large numbers of people are attracted to the Las Vegas Strip each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, thousands of pedestrians are killed or seriously injured by being hit by cars every year. Those considered most at risk include the following:

• Senior citizens, accounting for 20 percent of all pedestrian fatalities for those ages 65 and older

• Children, with pedestrian accidents accounting for more than one in five fatal traffic accidents involving children between the ages of five and 15

• Intoxicated drivers or pedestrians, with alcohol reportedly being involved in 48 percent of pedestrian traffic fatalities

This last point would probably come as no surprise to residents of Las Vegas, where drinking is often part of the entertainment that comes from Nevada's unique tourism industry.

Driver plows through crowd on Las Vegas strip

A recent accident highlights the dangers faced by pedestrians in crowded areas. KTNV News reported that in late December, a vehicle crashed into a group of people walking near the Planet Hollywood hotel-casino. The accident occurred while many people were in the area for the Miss Universe pageant. The exact details surrounding the incident were as of yet unknown, but many pedestrians were reported to have been injured. The Las Vegas Strip was shut down for several hours after the crash.

The victims in this accident, as well as others that were caused by a negligent, reckless or intoxicated driver, would have the right to seek compensation for their medical expenses. An experienced personal injury attorney may be necessary to protect the rights of those injured in pedestrian accidents.