Sadly, Nevada repeatedly ranks in the top ten states for pedestrian fatalities.  I know you are thinking it is because we have so many tourists.  However, almost 90 percent of the victims are local residents of Nevada.  Whether driving or as the pedestrian, there are some safety tips you should always bear in mind.   

  • Crosswalks: A crosswalk exists at any intersection. It does not matter if  there are

markings on the ground or not. (NRS 484A.065)

  • Drivers: Must use due care to avoid a collision with a pedestrian at all times.

(NRS 484B.280)

  • Pedestrians: Are required to use the sidewalk and the nearest crosswalk, pedestrian

bridge or tunnel when they are available

  • Signals:    A steady hand means do not enter the intersection, A FLASHING

HAND means do not enter but those in the crosswalk may finish, and

a WALKING PERSON means you may enter if it is safe.

Unfortunately, 2017 was the deadliest year ever recorded for Nevada pedestrian accidents.  In Nevada, there were 78 pedestrian fatalities in 2017 as opposed to 58 in 2016,  and 60 in 2015 which was the previous record holder.   Many may argue that the legalization of marijuana in Nevada is to blame.  However, it is reported that none of these fatalities involved marijuana impaired drivers.  Unfortunately, some of these tragic accidents did involve drivers who were impaired by alcohol.  Most resulted from distracted pedestrians who were looking at their cellphones while crossing at intersections.   Always remember the age old rule, look both ways before you cross the street.  Some fatalities occurred by pedestrians jaywalking and failing to obey the rules of the road for pedestrian crossings.

Nevada is trying to make our roads and highways safer for pedestrians.  The Nevada Department of Transportation is planning a three million dollar project to install flashing beacons, wider medians and crosswalks at eight intersections and midblock segments of Boulder Highway in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Boulder Highway has been called the deadliest stretch of road in Nevada with nine pedestrian fatalities on that road in 2017.  Even with projects underway to improve pedestrian safety, the best advice is to follow the rules for pedestrian traffic and stay safe.

The Rules of the Road for the state of Nevada are outlined in chapter 484B in the NRS and NRS 484B.280 thru NRS 484B.297 and following these rules can keep you and your family safe and avoid pedestrian accidents. The following is a summary of these codes:

Driver’s must “exercise due care to avoid a collision with a pedestrian.”  This means that drivers must avoid hitting a pedestrian at all times if possible.  If a driver thinks he cannot avoid the collision, he must “give an audible warning with the horn of the vehicle if appropriate.”   When a driver sees a pedestrian on a or near a highway or street, or near a bus stop or near a school, he must use due care while driving.

Clients often ask the question of “who has the right of way” when a pedestrian is involved.  NRS 484B.283 provides the rules for pedestrian crossings and states as follows:

(a) When official traffic-control devices are not in place or not in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way, slowing down or stopping if need be so to yield, to a pedestrian crossing the highway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the highway upon which the vehicle is traveling, or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the highway as to be in danger.

(b) A pedestrian shall not suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield.

(c) Whenever a vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass the stopped vehicle until the driver has determined that the vehicle being overtaken was not stopped for the purpose of permitting a pedestrian to cross the highway.

(d) Whenever signals exhibiting the words “Walk” or “Don’t Walk” are in place, such signals indicate as follows:

(1) While the “Walk” indication is illuminated, pedestrians facing the signal may proceed across the highway in the direction of the signal and must be given the right-of-way by the drivers of all vehicles.

(2) While the “Don’t Walk” indication is illuminated, either steady or flashing, a pedestrian shall not start to cross the highway in the direction of the signal, but any pedestrian who has partially completed the crossing during the “Walk” indication shall proceed to a sidewalk, or to a safety zone if one is provided.

(3) Whenever the word “Wait” still appears in a signal, the indication has the same meaning as assigned in this section to the “Don’t Walk” indication.

(4) Whenever a signal system provides a signal phase for the stopping of all vehicular traffic and the exclusive movement of pedestrians, and “Walk” and “Don’t Walk” indications control pedestrian movement, pedestrians may cross in any direction between corners of the intersection offering the shortest route within the boundaries of the intersection when the “Walk” indication is exhibited, and when signals and other official traffic-control devices direct pedestrian movement in the manner provided in this section and in NRS 484B.307.  . . . .

      NRS 484B.287 outlines when a pedestrian must yield right-of-way to vehicle; when crossing at crosswalk is required; rules for crossing diagonally; and additional penalty if violation occurs in pedestrian safety zone.       NRS 484B.287 states as follows:

(a) Every pedestrian crossing a highway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the highway.

(b) Any pedestrian crossing a highway at a point where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing has been provided shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the highway.

(c) Between adjacent intersections at which official traffic-control devices are in operation pedestrians shall not cross at any place except in a marked crosswalk.

(d) A pedestrian shall not cross an intersection diagonally unless authorized by official traffic-control devices.

(e) When authorized to cross diagonally, pedestrians shall cross only in accordance with the official traffic-control devices pertaining to such crossing movements. . . .

It is important to note that there is a special provision for all blind persons which is  NRS 484B.290  which give Right-of-way to all persons who are blind and requires all drivers who approach a blind pedestrian who is using a service animal or carrying a cane or walking stick that is white or white tipped with red has the right of way and any driver approaching shall come to a stop and take precautions before proceeding into the intersection.

NRS 484B.293  states that  “Pedestrians shall move whenever practicable upon the right half of crosswalks. NRS 484B.297  states that “where sidewalks are provided, it is unlawful for any pedestrian to walk along and upon an adjacent highway.”  When a sidewalk in not available, pedestrians are required to  walk on the left side of those highways facing the approaching traffic.  It is also against the law to solicit money or a ride on the side of the road as a pedestrian from passing drivers, although this is sadly, frequently seen in our state.

It is against the law for any pedestrian who is under the influence of intoxicating liquors or any narcotic or stupefying drug to be within the traveled portion of any highway. But you can view publisher site as it is legal.

If you or a loved one is injured as a pedestrian, call our office immediately and we will make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve, and advise on how to preserve evidence.  If you have been in any type of accident and have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our offices today.  At my office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to.  Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities.  They want to pay as little on every claim as possible.  Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.

At the Law Offices of Laura Hunt we are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur. For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our offices.  The Law Offices of Laura Hunt is a boutique, family owned law firm in Henderson that specializes in helping injured people and the community with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, and all types of injury claims.  Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032.