Despite pandemic shutdown, Nevada saw more deaths on the road than in recent years

Despite a pandemic-induced shutdown keeping many people at home, Nevada has seen more road deaths when compared with recent years.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that the Nevada Department of Public Safety estimates there have been roughly 305 fatalities on state roads so far this year. In 2019, the agency counted 304 deaths.

Agency spokesman Andrew Bennett says the trend is especially concerning when the 2019 figure was a decrease from 2018’s 324 deaths.

According to Bennett, many of the deaths were attributed to speed, impairment or not wearing a seat belt. He says it’s especially “disheartening” when you consider how much less traveling people were doing in the last several months.

Initially, there was a 39% drop in deadly traffic crashes in March and a 44% year-over-year decline in May. But officials say fatal crashes seemed to climb after that. There was also for the first time a rise in deadly traffic incidents in rural counties.

Bennett says the department plans to devote more efforts to public awareness about driver behaviors.

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