Fatal Crashes Increase Nationwide and in Nevada - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Fatal Crashes Increase Nationwide and in Nevada

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A new report from the National Safety Council found more than 40,000 people died in car crashes last year, the highest number in 9 years. They also found an estimated 4.5 million people were seriously injured in accidents. Fatality numbers in Nevada increased as well.

There were 328 deaths in 2016. That is two more than 2015. Nearly two-thirds of those were in Clark County, but there were increases in Washoe County especially involving pedestrians. The number of pedestrian deaths in Washoe County nearly doubled to 15 in 2016.

Motorcycle deaths are up 48 percent statewide.

“We saw a large increase in the number of unlicensed drivers in motorcycle deaths,” said Captain Rob Stepien with the Nevada Highway Patrol. “And a large increase in the age ranges which were down into the high teens and twenties which is alarming.”

One of the reasons for increases statewide is because of more cars on the road.

"We do see an increased amount of traffic which can lead to an increase in traffic fatalities,” said Meg Ragonese, Nevada Department of Transportation.

Unsafe driving habits such as driving impaired, texting, or speeding is the reason for 94 percent of traffic deaths according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

One of the ways NDOT reminds drivers of the importance of driving safely are digital signs on the freeway. They often show total fatality numbers from the entire state. In January alone, 26 people died on Nevada’s roads.    

NDOT says their "Zero Fatalities" campaign reminders have helped cut the number of fatalities on Nevada roads almost in half between 2005 and 2015 relative to the distance driven.

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