Public Information Office
Contact: Kimberly J. Evans
555 Wright Way, Carson City, Nevada 89711
(702)687-1300 fax:(702)687-6798

FROM: Office of Traffic Safety 98-105

1997 Traffic Crash Deaths Remain High
1997 fatalities only two fewer than 1996 fatalities

Statistics gathered by the Nevada Highway Safety Office of the DMV & PS reveal traffic crash deaths are still on a record pace. A total of 346 people died in 321 fatal crashes on Nevada highways in 1997. The total number for 1997 is only two fewer than the record of 348 deaths in 1996.

The Office of Traffic Safety is the custodian of records on fatal accidents in the State of Nevada.

The following summary reflects the statistics for fatalities for 1997:

A person was killed on Nevada roadways on an average of once every 25.2 hours
255 vehicle occupants were killed
60 pedestrians were struck and killed
8 bicyclists were struck and killed
23 motorcyclists killed

Major factors contributing to deaths on Nevada's highways continue to be excessive speed, drinking and driving and not wearing seat belts. In 1996, 41% of fatal crashes involved alcohol. 67% of those killed in crashes were not wearing seatbelts, with 40% being ejected from their vehicles. 33% of the fatal crashes involved alcohol. The breakdown analysis for 1997 fatal crashes will be available in April or May of 1998.

The Office of Traffic Safety urges every driver to follow a few simple rules that could save your life. Wear your seat belt. Don't drink and drive. Drive at a rate of speed that is compatible with the weather, road conditions and the speed limit.