According to a recently released study, 34 percent of the Las Vegas Valley’s freeways and major thoroughfares are in a mediocre or poor condition which contributes to significantly higher costs on Las Vegas motorists. Dangerous road conditions are a leading cause of traffic accidents, and Las Vegas has an abundance of poorly maintained roads.
Causes of Dangerous Road Conditions
Dangerous road conditions are caused by two factors: natural disasters and poor maintenance. While Las Vegas has its fair share of extreme weather conditions (such as droughts and heat waves), it does not ordinarily suffer from extreme natural disasters that would substantially damage roads (aside from the occasional flood). However, in some areas, Las Vegas has deferred road maintenance by over a decade.
The study was conducted by TRIP, a private, Washington DC-based national transportation research group. TRIP found that nine percent of Las Vegas bridges are structurally deficient, meaning that they are still safe to drive on but will require replacement or rehabilitation in the next few years. Additionally, TRIP found that many of the dangerous road conditions are concentrated in the older, eastern portions of Las Vegas such as stretches of Nellis Boulevard, Eastern Avenue, and Hollywood Boulevard.
Dangerous Road Conditions Contribute to Car Accidents
The following road conditions commonly contribute to or cause car crashes:
- Lack of rumble strips on freeways;
- Obstructions of drivers’ visions (frequently, utility poles);
- Faded paint markings;
- Damaged or ineligible signage;
- Potholes and cracks that cause a driver to lose control;
- Lack of guardrails; and
- Poor traffic control in construction or other hazardous zones.
Liability for injuries sustained due to a dangerous road condition puts people on a collision course with the government. Road maintenance is under the purview of several government agencies including local, state, and federal agencies. In Las Vegas, the Department of Transportation and the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada.
Recovering from government agencies is complex precisely because it is difficult to identify which agency is responsible. Often, victims will have to hire investigators to examine the crash, interview witnesses, and examine government records to identify who failed and in what way.