Guest written by Andrew Bennett, Zero Fatalities Program Manager
May 31 marked the beginning of the ‘100 Deadliest Days,’ the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day that has historically proven to be a fatal time on Nevada’s roadways. As our state looks to fully re-open and welcome back tourism, we anticipate Nevada’s roadways to bustle with road-trip travelers and local commuters alike. Despite the unprecedented circumstances of last year, Nevada saw an increase in roadway fatalities – during a time when we were asked to stay home for Nevada. Now more than ever, the Zero Fatalities program reminds drivers to practice safe driving behaviors like those listed below to help further the goal of achieving Zero Fatalities on Nevada’s roadways.
- Always Drive Sober
Impairment is the top cause of vehicle crashes and fatalities across the nation, making up 42.7 percent of Nevada’s total fatalities. Impairment is not limited to driving while under the influence of alcohol. Getting behind the wheel while under the influence of marijuana, prescription drugs or any substance that impairs your judgement is considered impaired driving. If you are planning on celebrating, be sure to plan ahead by designating a sober driver, utilizing taxi or ride share services and calling 911 or *NHP if you suspect anyone of driving under the influence.
- Check Your Speed
Year over year, speeding has been a top cause of motorist, pedestrian and bicycle fatalities in the state, making up 33 percent of all roadway fatalities in Nevada. Moreover, 60 percent of all drivers in speed-related fatalities in Nevada were also impaired while behind the wheel. This is unacceptable and completely avoidable. As traffic increases and more places to visit and enjoy re-open, it is important to slow down, check your speed and follow the posted speed limit. Nevada enforces the Absolute Speed Law, stating that there is no such thing as “give or take 5 mph.” The posted speed limit is there for the reason and is to be obeyed.
- Always Buckle Up
So far in 2021, there have been 24 unrestrained vehicle occupant fatalities, resulting in a 20 percent year over year increase. Wearing your seatbelt is the single most effective thing you can do to save your life in a car crash. In fact, those who do not wear their seatbelt are 75 percent more likely to be killed in a car crash. Putting on a seatbelt takes less than three seconds and could give you a chance of a lifetime.
- Focus On The Road
In 2019, nine lives were claimed due to distracted driving. Distracted driving is considered to be anything that takes your focus away from the road – whether it be cell phones, eating, drinking, adjusting music, GPS systems, even other passengers. It is important that drivers eliminate distractions and focus on the road when driving, because lives are on the line.