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Traffic deaths in Nevada down nearly 50 percent in June

June saw a nearly 50 percent decline in traffic deaths in Nevada compared to last year, keeping the 2019 total well below 2018’s mark through the first six months of the year.

In June, 16 fatal crashes resulted in 16 deaths, a 48 percent decrease over June 2018, according to Department of Public Safety data. That brings 2019’s total to 125 deaths, a 23 percent drop compared to 2018’s 162 deaths through June last year.

The decrease keeps 2019 well behind 2018, which ended with 331 fatalities, marking the deadliest year on state roads in 10 years.

Clark County saw 87 deaths resulting from 82 fatal crashes, representing a 20 percent year-over-year dip in deadly crashes and a 27 percent decrease in crash-related deaths.

Unrestrained passenger deaths continued to see a drop as 20 statewide traffic deaths resulted from passengers not wearing safety belts, a 49 percent decrease from the 39 unrestrained passenger deaths seen though June last year.

Despite the dip in the overall roadway fatalities, pedestrian deaths continued to trend above last year’s rate. Thirty-eight pedestrians were killed on Nevada roads through June, a 19 percent year-over-year increase compared to the 32 pedestrian deaths seen during the same time period last year.

The decrease in fatalities is encouraging to officials, but they worry that that could easily change for the worse as we’re in the middle of the “100 deadliest days” on roads, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

“The first half of the year has seen an overall downward trend in regard to traffic-related fatalities,” said Andrew Bennett, Department of Public Safety spokesman. “Unfortunately, we have seen a deadly start to the 100 deadliest days on our local roadways.

“The summer tends to see an increase in impaired-driving fatalities, unrestrained occupants and crashes involving motorcycles. With what we have seen so far this year, this summer is no exception. We can expect more of the same if these fatal decisions are continued to be made behind the wheel,” Bennett said.

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

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