The Las Vegas metropolitan area has more car accidents than the other Nevada cities combined. This makes sense because Las Vegas is the economic and population center for the state.

When crashes happen in Las Vegas, they usually result from just a few causes. According to the Nevada Fatal Crash Data Dashboard, the top two causes of accidents are impaired driving and speeding. Together, these types of accidents have accounted for nearly 73% of all fatalities in the city since 2016.

Las Vegas Crash Statistics

The NDOT Crash Data Map shows 176,787 car accidents in the Las Vegas metropolitan area between 2016 and 2020. These crashes included 916 fatal accidents and 80,137 injury accidents. In total, 960 people died, and 80,697 people were injured.

These numbers include all crashes in the City of Las Vegas, Henderson, North Las Vegas, and the unincorporated areas of Clark County. These accidents cover all of the areas considered as “Las Vegas,” including The Strip and the suburbs technically outside the city.

Crashes in Las Vegas happen for a few common reasons. The top 12 causes of Las Vegas car accidents include:

1. Impaired Driving

Las Vegas has a reputation as a party city. And this shows in its crash statistics. Impaired driving was the top cause of traffic accidents in the city. According to the Nevada Fatal Crash Data Dashboard, impaired driving accidents caused an average of 77 deaths per year over the five years between 2016 and 2020.

The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) has determined that the primary intoxicants in these crashes were alcohol, marijuana, and a combination of the two. Drivers tested positive for illegal drugs in only nine of the 109 fatal intoxicated driving crashes in 2020.

The top intoxicant in Las Vegas impaired driving crashes was a combination of alcohol and marijuana. The second-most common was marijuana alone. The third-most common was alcohol alone.

Las Vegas experienced a spike in marijuana-related DUI crashes since it decriminalized the recreational use of marijuana in 2017. While residents and visitors can possess and consume marijuana legally, driving while under the influence qualifies as DUI in Nevada.

2. Speeding

Speeding is the second-most common cause of fatal and injury accidents in Las Vegas, NV. Very few weeks pass without a story in the news about the police stopping someone driving over 100 miles per hour on the streets of Las Vegas.

Drivers who speed can lose control of their vehicles. Speeding also reduces the time drivers have to react to hazards. 

Speeding accounts for an average of 62 traffic fatalities per year in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, according to the Nevada Fatal Crash Data Dashboard.

3. Distracted Driving

Distracted driving crashes have increased over the past 20 years due to smartphones. But distractions include more than just cell phone use. Any activity that takes your mind, eyes, or hands away from driving can increase your crash risk. 

Some other forms of distractions include:

  • Eating
  • Drinking
  • Reading
  • Talking to passengers
  • Adjusting the sound system
  • Rubbernecking at crashes

Distractions prevent drivers from spotting and reacting to hazards like braking cars or traffic signal changes.

4. Tailgating

Tailgating happens when a driver follows another vehicle too closely. Drivers have a responsibility to follow at a safe distance. When they leave a gap too small, they risk causing a rear-end collision.

5. Failing to Yield the Right of Way

Almost all intersection accidents happen due to a failure to yield the right of way to another vehicle. 

Examples of these errors include:

  • Turning left across another vehicle’s path
  • Turning right in front of an approaching vehicle
  • Going through a two-way or four-way stop out of turn

These crashes can cause incapacitating or fatal injuries. The vehicle with the right of way may be traveling at high speeds and could impact the other vehicle’s door, crushing it into the occupants.

6. Failing to Yield to Pedestrians

Pedestrian accidents killed an average of 59 pedestrians per year between 2016 and 2020, according to the Nevada Fatal Crash Data Dashboard. These accidents can happen when pedestrians jaywalk on busy streets. They can also occur when drivers fail to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks.

7. Unsafe Lane Changes

Crowded roads and highways often set the stage for lane-change accidents. Lane change crashes can happen when drivers change lanes without checking their blind spots or mirrors before maneuvering. They can also happen when drivers try to fit into gaps too small for their vehicles.

8. Aggressive Driving

Aggressive driving has a non-technical meaning roughly equivalent to “road rage.” But Nevada passed an aggressive driving statute in 1999 with a much more technical definition. 

Aggressive driving happens when, within a one-mile span, a driver:

  • Speeds
  • Commits two traffic violations besides speeding
  • Creates a hazard to another vehicle or person due to their driving

Aggressive driving is not a huge problem on Las Vegas roads, but it can cause serious or fatal injuries when it happens.

9. Senior Drivers

Senior drivers can have physical and mental disabilities that increase their risk of causing a traffic accident. 

Examples of risk factors for senior drivers include:

  • Diminished strength and flexibility
  • Reduced reaction time
  • Poor vision and hearing
  • Dementia
  • Prescription drug use

These problems increase the risk that seniors will cause crashes and the risk that they will not maneuver in time to avoid hazards caused by other drivers.

10. Young Drivers

Young drivers lack the experience to maneuver safely. They are also more prone to distractions. As a result, young drivers have a higher risk of getting into accidents.

11. Disobeying Traffic Signals and Signs

Las Vegas drivers have a well-earned reputation for running stop signs, yield signs, and traffic lights. Disobeying signals and signs can put a vehicle in cross-traffic where the driver and any passengers can suffer serious injuries.

12. Fatigued Driving

Fatigued driving affects tourists that stay out too late. It can also affect workers who take overtime or work multiple shifts. Finally, truck drivers on I-15 may arrive in Las Vegas fatigued after a long drive across the desert.

The Importance of Knowing Car Accident Causes

Car accident causes help to determine who is liable for a Las Vegas crash. Insurers, personal injury lawyers, and jurors can then assess who should pay for any financial losses incurred by the other road users injured in the crash.

Contact the Las Vegas Car Accident Attorneys at Battle Born Injury Lawyers Today

If you or a loved one were injured in an accident in Las Vegas and you need legal assistance, contact our car accident attorneys at Battle Born Injury Lawyers and schedule a free consultation with our legal team.

Battle Born Injury Lawyers
400 S 4th St Suite 290,
Las Vegas, NV 89101
(702) 357-4868

Battle Born Injury Lawyers – Las Vegas Office
10789 W Twain Ave #100
Las Vegas, NV 89135
(702) 570-9000

Battle Born Injury Lawyers – Reno Office
675 W Moana Ln #206
Reno, NV 89509, USA
(775) 535-7768

Battle Born Injury Lawyers – Henderson Office
8540 S Eastern Ave #200
Henderson, NV 89123
(702) 500-0287