The second weekend of 2019 was a deadly one in Las Vegas. On Saturday, January 12, a woman died after crashing into a disabled vehicle on Interstate 215, and a motorcyclist and a bicyclist also died in separate incidents, according to Nevada Highway Patrol. Then, on Sunday, a woman was killed after investigators say a car failed to yield the right of way. And only a few hours later, a bicyclist was struck and killed by a dump truck near Desert Inn and Paradise. The truck’s right front tire rolled over her, and she later died at a hospital. So, of these five traffic-related fatalities, two of the victims were bicyclists (plus a motorcyclist if we count everyone on two wheels). Just how dangerous is it to ride a bike in Vegas?
Vegas Is Not a Safe City for Cyclists
According to a 2017 report by Nevada Public Radio, bicyclists in Southern Nevada all have stories of being side-swiped, nearly hit, and yelled at by motorists. In Las Vegas, many motorists don’t know the laws, such as the law requiring drivers to leave three feet between themselves and a bicyclist. To counter these issues, the city is expanding bike lanes and paving more bike trails to increase bike safety and improve bike commuting numbers, according to the Regional Transportation Commission. Yet, in a city designed to serve cars and where pedestrian traffic often overflows into the streets, bicyclists still seem to be the odd ones out when it comes to safety and respect.
How to Make Southern Nevada Roads Safer for Bikes
If Southern Nevada drivers took some extra care when sharing the road with bicyclists, there would be significantly fewer bike accidents and injuries. Simply following the traffic laws already on the books would go far to make roads safer. Some other suggestions—give bicyclists a full lane when passing. Generally, three feet is a minimum safety requirement, and passing a bike just like any other vehicle will improve safety. One of the most common car-bike crashes is the “right hook,” where a vehicle overtakes and then turns directly in front of a bicyclist who is continuing straight. By signaling far in advance of turns and continually checking for bicyclists, drivers can avoid a right hook collision. When drivers fail to follow traffic laws or take reasonable precautions like these, they can be held accountable for bicyclist injuries.
Speak with an Experienced Southern Nevada Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you’ve been hurt in a bicycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages. To find out more, please contact the David Boehrer Law Firm in Henderson, NV for a free consultation at 702-750-0750. Working together and holding negligent drivers accountable for their actions, we can make Nevada roads safer for bicyclists.