Two teenagers were injured in a crash with a vehicle at 5:20 AM last Friday, August 4 near Durango and Tropicana. The pedestrians, aged 14 or 15, were both harmed in the accident. One of the teenagers was transported to University Medical center while the other incurred minor injuries. Both pedestrians’ injuries were non-life-threatening. After the crash, the driver remained on the scene.
Currently, the cause of Friday’s accident is unknown. However, the speed limit for both Tropicana and Durango is 45 mph. Drivers who exceed posted speed limits do not have physics on their side: higher driving speeds reduce the time drivers have to process information such as pedestrians entering their line of travel, and the possibility of a collision increases dramatically. Many pedestrians survive slow-speed encounters, but as a driver’s speed increases, the pedestrian’s survival rate drops. Even if drivers carefully observe speed limits, the likelihood of a pedestrian suffering serious injury in a crash with a vehicle going 45 mph is at least 75%.
The crash happened in the early morning at 5:20. Although few details have been released, it is possible that the driver may have been sleepy. In a 24-hour city like Las Vegas, many people work graveyard or early morning shifts, and those who do are more likely to drive drowsy at least a few days a month than people who work daytime hours. The effect of drowsy driving is serious: according to a recent study, being awake for eighteen hours is roughly the equivalent of having a blood alcohol level of .05. (At .08, one is considered legally drunk.)