What New Drivers Need to Know About Driving In Vegas
Getting comfortable behind the wheel can take time—especially in a busy and complicated city like Las Vegas. According to the most recent data from the Federal Highway Administration (FHA), there are nearly 2 million licensed drivers in Nevada, with tens of thousands more new drivers hitting the road in Las Vegas and the surrounding region every year.
If you or your teenager is a new driver in Las Vegas, you need to know the basics of safe motor vehicle operation in the city. With the proper training, defensive driving habits, and an understanding of some of the specific challenges of driving in Las Vegas, you will be able to protect the health, safety, and well-being of yourself and your family.
Practice Matters: New Drivers Need the Proper Training
Learning to drive in Las Vegas can be downright nerve-wracking—especially for parents who are preparing their teenagers for the road. The unfortunate reality is that motor vehicle accidents remain one of the leading causes of serious injuries and fatalities in Nevada. Driving can be dangerous. You must take the appropriate safety precautions. By some metrics, new drivers are nearly three times more likely to get into crashes than are more experienced drivers. It is imperative that new drivers are properly trained on safe driving before they get on the road. Here are five of the most important tips that every new driver in Las Vegas needs to know:
1. Drivers need to know their vehicles. Among other things, new drivers should take time to feel the gas pedal, the brake pedal, adjust the seat and the mirrors, and make sure that adequate maintenance has been performed. Every car is different.
2. Always check for blind spots. Before changing lanes, make sure you turn your head—each and every time. Too many new drivers forget about their blinds spots.
3. Stay focused and avoid distractions. New drivers and particularly teenagers are highly susceptible to distracted driving. A driver’s full attention must be on the road at all times. Distracted driving is dangerous. Tuck the cell phone safely out of reach.
4. Defensive driving is safe driving. Practicing defensive driving is one of the keys to avoiding accidents as a new driver. Defensive driving is a broad term that is used to refer to a set of skills that helps drivers anticipate and defend themselves against safety hazards.
5. Ease into the transition. New drivers do not have to do everything at once. It is a best practice for new drivers to start slowly. There is no reason to throw a new driver into the heart of rush hour traffic. When a driver is first getting behind the wheel, they should limit the amount of time driving at night, in heavy traffic, and in other potentially hazardous conditions.
Four Rules for Safe Driving in Las Vegas
1. Know the Local Traffic Regulations
First and foremost, new drivers in Las Vegas need to understand the relevant state and local traffic regulations. While there is a significant overlap all across the United States, different communities have different quirks in traffic laws. New motorists should review the Nevada Driver Handbook to ensure that they understand their responsibilities. Additionally, drivers should pay very close attention to the signs in Las Vegas. Make sure that you know the speed limit, whether you can take a right on red, and the rules regarding passing.
2. Las Vegas Drivers Can Be Aggressive—You Shouldn’t Be
Las Vegas is not exactly known for its safe drivers. According to the 2019 Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report, Las Vegas is ranked 127th out of 200 U.S. cities—with nearly 20 percent more accidents than the national average. For a wide range of different reasons, drivers in Las Vegas can be aggressive. As a new driver, you shouldn’t be. Remember to take your time and practice defensive driving. If another driver is getting aggressive, simply hold your lane and let them get by you.
3. Take Care to Watch Out for Pedestrians Downtown and on The Strip
In certain sections of Las Vegas—most notably in Downtown and on the Strip—new drivers should expect to run into a lot of foot traffic. Dealing with pedestrians can be especially challenging for new drivers. Often, pedestrians do not follow signs. Further, many of them are visitors from outside of the region; they may not be familiar with the traffic patterns of Las Vegas. The best thing you can do as a new driver is to take extra care to watch out for pedestrians. Remember that a pedestrian can come from virtually any direction. Make sure you keep you your eyes and focus on the road at all times.
4. Beware of the Most Dangerous Intersections in Las Vegas
New drivers should always be prepared for the risk of a crash. A collision can happen at any place and at any time. Of course, not all locations are equally risky. The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) notes that approximately 40 percent of all car accidents reported nationwide occur at intersections—and some intersections are far more dangerous than others. New drivers should be aware of the most dangerous intersections in Las Vegas. Based on information released by the LVMPD, the five most dangerous intersections in the city are:
- West Sahara Avenue and Arville Street
- West Sahara Avenue and South Decatur Boulevard
- West Tropicana Avenue and South Decatur Boulevard
- Paradise Road and East Tropicana Avenue
- East Charleston Boulevard and South Lamb Boulevard
Were You Injured in a Car Accident in Las Vegas?
You should be ready to take action to protect your legal rights. At Ladah Law Firm, PLLC, our Nevada auto accident attorneys are skilled, attentive advocates for our clients. If you or your child is a new driver who was injured in a traffic collision in Clark County, Nevada, we are here to help. To get a free, no-obligation case assessment, contact an attorney who understands cases involving new drivers’ accidents to learn more about your legal options.