UNLV Researchers Reveal New Data on Car Crashes in Nevada
Wednesday, April 5, 2023
Scientific researchers at the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas are looking at traffic related injuries and fatalities - to help shape safety recommendations and give insight into risky driving behaviors among Nevadans.
The group publishes quarterly newsletters which demonstrate what is leading to crashes.
Principal investigator Dr. Deborah Kuhls - also a Professor of Surgery and Assistant Dean for Research at the Kerkorian School - said their most recent work shows running red lights, speeding and distracted driving are the top three trends.
Kuhls said in recent years more than half of citations were speed related, and 34% of those were for driving over the state's max speed limit of 80 miles per hour.
They've also found 32% of Nevada's road fatalities were associated with intersections, including red light running. She said the valuable research helps guide prevention efforts.
"Even in terms of population," said Kuhls, "like when we look at speeding behavior, or at least the citations would lead us to believe - that it more commonly happens among male drivers and younger drivers, so then we can get that message out appropriately."
Kuhls said oftentimes cars are comfortable and have many convenient features, but those should not diminish the importance of being attentive and aware when getting behind the wheel.
She urged Nevadans to never drive impaired or get into a car with an intoxicated driver.
Kuhls said to 'paint the entire picture of vehicle crashes in Nevada' they also gather information from trauma centers.
Kuhls said if the breadwinner of a family is involved in a crash, it could have serious financial implications for a family.
Kuhls herself practices at the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada and said she witnesses the injuries she calls an increasing public health concern.
"Almost every day in the trauma center," said Kuhls, "we see people with various behavioral issues that resulted in them getting involved in a crash, or being the victims of someone else's behavior."
Kuhls said aggressive, careless and reckless driving behavior that impede traffic have gotten worse since the pandemic. She said it is a problem for Nevada, but for the country as a whole, and calls for all drivers to be responsible and vigilant on the road.
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