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New Year’s holiday sees about 1 crash an hour in Las Vegas area

With Las Vegas being one of the Top 5 New Year’s Eve destinations, a swarm of out-of-town motorists will be on valley roads to usher in 2020.

An influx of visitors means more drivers who may not be familiar with area roads and an increase in traffic congestion, ramping up crashes to about one every hour on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day in the Las Vegas Valley, according to AAA Nevada.

AAA’s review of the most recent highway crash data available from the Nevada Department of Transportation shows 143 crashes in the Las Vegas Valley on the Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 travel dates from New Year’s Eve 2014 through New Year’s Day 2017.

“In the span of just 144 hours, 143 crashes happened on Las Vegas valley highways between December 31 through January 1st,” said AAA Nevada spokesman Sergio Avila in a statement. “That’s nearly a crash every hour and highlights the importance of being extra vigilant while ringing in the new year.”

With an expected 330,000 visitors traveling to Las Vegas to celebrate the new year, the Resort Corridor will see a large influx of traffic, making freeways, especially Interstate 15, more prone to crashes, according to AAA.

AAA cautions motorists to be extra careful while commuting Tuesday and Wednesday and to be particularly cautious in the following areas that saw the highest total amount of crashes on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 during the period for which statistics were available:

—I-15 from Sahara Avenue to the Spaghetti Bowl: 38 crashes.

—I-15 and Tropicana Avenue: 14 crashes.

—215 Beltway and Las Vegas Boulevard: eight crashes.

—Summerlin Parkway between Buffalo Drive and the U.S. Highway 95 interchange: six crashes.

—U.S. 95 between Valley View and Decatur boulevards: six crashes.

Knowing ahead of time where crashes are more likely to occur will give motorists the ability to be more cautious around those problems spots, according to AAA.

Aside from crashes, calls for motorist assistance are expected to be up this holiday season, as well. AAA Nevada anticipates it will assist 7,620 AAA members in Nevada between Christmas and New Year’s Day. The most frequent types of calls are for battery issues, flat tires and vehicle lockouts.

AAA recommends that motorists take their vehicles to a trusted repair facility to perform any needed maintenance before leaving on a road trip.

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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