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Traffic fatalities in Nevada down from 2018

Updated March 7, 2019 - 5:42 pm

Nevada roadways have seen a year-over-year dip in crash-related deaths through the first two months of 2019, though the number of pedestrian deaths is up sharply over the period.

There were 38 fatal crashes through February in the state, resulting in 40 deaths, the Department of Public Safety announced Thursday. That number represents a 23 percent decline over the first two months of 2018, when 52 people were killed.

February saw 17 fatal crashes that resulted in 17 deaths, a 43 percent decrease from February 2018.

Crashes resulting in the deaths of unrestrained occupants also is down significantly thus far in 2019, with just six compared with 16 at the same point in 2018 — a 62 percent drop.

Although that trend is promising, Andrew Bennett, Department of Public safety spokesman, said that’s still too many deaths that could be prevented by simply wearing a seat belt.

“Last year, Clark County had a record first two months with unrestrained fatalities,” Bennett said. “We are encouraged to see this trend but we are still experiencing 35 percent of our occupant fatalities not wearing their seat belts at the time of a fatal crash.”

Clark County has accounted for the majority of traffic fatalities this year, with 26 fatal crashes resulting in 27 deaths.

The news on pedestrian deaths was not as positive, with 14 deaths so far this year compared with 10 in the first two months of 2018 — a 40 percent spike.

Pedestrian deaths also rose in Clark County, but at a slower clip than the state as a whole. The county has seen nine pedestrian deaths in 2019 vs. seven through the first two months last year — a 28 percent increase.

Bennett said both motorists and pedestrians can take an easy step to ensure those walking near roads in the state are safe.

“The answer is simple — yield the right of way,” he said. ”Several of these 14 fatalities that we have seen so far this year have been failure to yield the right of way. We need to make sure pedestrians are putting themselves in the best position to get home safely. Pedestrian safety is a two-way street and requires both pedestrians and drivers to watch out for each other.”

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

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