THE ROAD TO ZERO
Always Buckle Up
Wearing a seat belt is the single most effective means of saving lives and reducing injuries in crashes (NHTSA, 2008). Nevada is a secondary seat belt law state, which means a law enforcement officer must observe the driver breaking another law before they can stop the car and cite for failure to wear a safety belt. Despite this, seat belt usage surveys show that more than 90 percent of Nevadans buckle up. Keep it up Nevada, and make sure everyone in your car is always belted. Not only could it endanger your life, but not wearing your seat belt could lead to approximately $70 in traffic fines.
Don't Drive Impaired
Known as "one of the deadliest crimes in America," in 2010, more than 10,000 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes - one every 51 minutes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). On Nevada roadways between 2005 and 2009, 574 people died and 915 people were seriously injured due to someone drinking and driving. In 2012, 70 lives were lost in Nevada in alcohol-related crashes. A first time offense penalty includes: an education course on the abuse of alcohol and controlled substances within a specified time frame, a jail sentence ranging from 2 days to 6 months or 48-96 hours of community service, and a fine ranging from $400-$1,000. Even what seems like a small buzz can have deadly consequences if you drive. And remember, alcohol is not the only thing that can impair your driving. Illegal drugs, prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines, and lack of sleep can impair your ability to drive safely.
Focus on the Road
Almost 800 vehicle occupants died in lane departure--or non-intersection--crashes between 2005 and 2009 in Nevada. Lane departure incidents are caused by a variety of factors, including illegal, loss-of control reasons like distracted driving or drowsy driving. Stay alert when you're operating a vehicle, especially in less-than-ideal conditions--and don't drive when you're not able to give it your full attention.
Stop on Red
Intersections are shared by a variety of users including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and vehicles, and a potential point of conflict. Many intersections have traffic controls to allow for safe and regulated use of this space. However, too often intersection users disregard signals or fail to yield. Vehicles still run red lights, pedestrians do not cross streets at cross walks, and there is a lack of signage which can lead to confusion. To stay safe, know the laws and know when they apply to you.
Be Pedestrian Safe
In Nevada, 282 pedestrians lost their lives from 2004 through 2008 due to actions of drivers, pedestrians, or both. So, not only do auto drivers need to watch for pedestrians and yield to them when walkers have the right-of-way in a crosswalk, but pedestrians also need to pay attention to vehicles on the roadway and obey rules for walking on and crossing streets.