Las Vegas Injury Attorney Al Lasso, of Lasso Injury Law, Calls for Community Action to Ensure Pedestrian Safety

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Recent pedestrian injury accidents in Las Vegas reveal continuing challenge to make city streets safe for pedestrians. Las Vegas Attorney Al Lasso says it is time for the community to demand action.

Pedestrian accidents happen in all types of neighborhoods and to all kinds of people at all hours of the day. No one is immune.

The Las Vegas Sun "Pedestrian Accident Map" shows that there were 2,060 crashes involving pedestrians between August 2001 and July 2011 in Clark County. Many of these crashes involved fatalities or catastrophic injuries. The Las Vegas metro area was the location for many of these serious pedestrian accidents. Even though the most recent data available are from several years ago, they do offer a relevant overview of a major problem that still afflicts Las Vegas. The title of a Sunday news story in the Sun published in March of 2014 by Jackie Valley indicates the scope of the ongoing problem: "Las Vegas deadlier than Manhattan: Saving pedestrian lives on our streets."

"Las Vegas has more pedestrian fatalities than Manhattan and not even half the population of Manhattan. That is nearly unbelievable. But when you start to pay attention, you realize just how dangerous Las Vegas is for pedestrians. Just in the last several weeks, there have been several serious accidents involving pedestrians. They have almost come to be seen as a normal part of Las Vegas life. This is unacceptable," Attorney Al Lasso says. Lasso knows from years as an attorney in Las Vegas that the problem is widespread and does not seem to be getting better. Recent news supports his observations.

According to Valley's article, in 2013 "pedestrians died at a higher rate in Clark County than in the counties that include Manhattan, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Atlanta, Houston, Chicago and Dallas" and "Pedestrian deaths have gone up for the past two years" in Clark County.

There are many causes for the problem but Lasso says that "solutions are what we need and we need them now. The city needs to examine what other communities do or have done to make pedestrians safer. While Lasso Injury Law is prepared to fight for fair compensation on behalf of injured pedestrians and their families, we want to see the number of such accidents reduced or eliminated completely. These kinds of accidents almost always involve serious injuries or death."

Lasso references the Sun article which includes "pedestrian accident stories in the victims' own words. The impact of these stories is very powerful especially when coupled with the data showing how widespread the problem is." When such tragic anecdotes are combined with the troubling statistics gathered over several years, Lasso says "the time to act is now. The status quo is not working."

Lasso says that even if legislative action is taken, pedestrians and drivers will still need to exercise common sense with a focus on safety. "Drivers must always remember that a collision with a pedestrian may lead to severe injury or death for the person on foot. And pedestrians must be extremely cautious and aware of the dangers on Las Vegas streets." In order to promote pedestrian safety, Lasso recommends the following:

  • Never assume a car will stop just because a pedestrian is in the road.
  • Always use a crosswalk to cross the street. But even in a crosswalk, pedestrians should take no chances.
  • When crossing the street, pedestrians should make eye contact with the driver of any oncoming vehicles to ensure they are seen before crossing the street.
  • Educate everyone you know, especially children, about pedestrian safety.

"While I hope everyone follows the advice about Las Vegas pedestrian safety, the truth is that a concerted effort is needed throughout the community. From the highest levels of government to the neighborhoods and businesses throughout Las Vegas, we need community action to reduce the number of pedestrian accidents in our city," Lasso argues. The attorney also adds that "even if new crosswalks are created, more signals are put in and more severe penalties are enforced for negligent behavior, people will still have to exercise caution to avoid becoming a statistic." Lasso's safety advocacy is, unfortunately, extremely timely.

In the last several weeks, local news sources have reported on several more pedestrian injury accidents: The Las Vegas Sun reported on a pedestrian who was struck by a hit-and-run driver outside Circus, Circus on Wednesday September 10 ("Pedestrian seriously injured in hit-and-run, police say"). That same day, the Las Vegas NBC affiliate, KSNV, reported on another pedestrian injury that occurred when a vehicle struck a victim in the metro area ("Two accidents on Vegas streets send three to hospital"). KSNV also reported on August 31 that a Las Vegas man was found deceased on Galleria Drive in Henderson after apparently being struck by a motor vehicle while he was walking near the road ("Coroner IDs man killed in hit and run accident in Henderson").

"When some people hear about the dangers for pedestrians in Las Vegas, they may imagine drunk drivers crashing into revelers from casinos who stumble into the street at four in the morning. This does happen but pedestrian accidents happen in all types of neighborhoods and to all kinds of people at all hours of the day. No one is immune," Lasso says. "This is why the community and our officials need to examine the problem closely and find solutions. Unfortunately, until a solution is found, the tragedies will continue to be a 'normal' part of life in Las Vegas."

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Anna Marie Talbert
since: 04/2013
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