Updated traffic fatality numbers for 2022 in Nevada have now made last year one of the deadliest ever on roads in the state.
The adjusted number reported this month in August’s state report reveals 416 traffic deaths occurred in Nevada, increasing by 34 fatalities from the 382 reported in January in preliminary numbers by the state.
“The number increased due to delays in reporting from our agencies. Because of the reporting delays that happen, we don’t finalize our data for 2022 until early 2024,” Anita Pepper, spokeswoman for the Department of Public Safety’s Office of Traffic Safety, said in an email. “While we don’t have an explanation behind the large increase, we do know that speeding and impairment continue to be the top contributing factors to fatalities in Nevada.”
The latest numbers make 2022 the third-deadliest year in Nevada, according to state records that date back to 1991. The only years with more fatalities were 2006 (432) and 2005 (427).
Each year the state releases the annual road death count, but the number is not final until the end of each reporting year. That is due to waiting for toxicology and coroner reports among other aspects that delay officially adding a traffic death to the annual count.
2023 road deaths down in Nevada
This year is trending downward compared with last year as far as traffic fatalities go. Through the latest monthly report, in August, 250 deaths have occurred on Nevada roads, down 7 percent from the 268 fatalities seen through the first eight months of 2022.
Despite being down through eight months year-over-year, if the year ended in August, the fatal total would already be higher than seven prior years’ full totals on the data chart dating back to 1991.
Nye County road deaths on the rise
Clark County accounts for the majority of the road fatals, with 158 reported this year through August, but Nye County has seen a 300-percent increase in traffic deaths, going from six last year through August to 24 this year.
That data includes five people who died in a fiery head-on crash south of Beatty on U.S. 95 in July. A dog also died in that crash.
How some specific road fatality types compare this year with last year through August:
■ 2022: 53
■ 2023: 61
■ Change: Up 15 percent
■ 2022: 59
■ Change: Down 24 percent
■ 2022: 9
■ 2023: 7
■ Change: Down 22 percent
Other (ATVs, mopeds, scooters)
■ 2022: 3
■ 2023: 4
■ Change: Up 33 percent
Forty-four people have died because they were not wearing seat belts, which is down from the 61 deaths seen through August last year.
The decrease is a good sign, but the number should be significantly lower, since simply wearing a seat belt is one of the easiest ways to potentially prevent death or serious injury in the event of a crash.
Pepper also cited two of the other leading causes of fatal wrecks — not traveling at posted speed levels and getting behind the wheel impaired.
Motorists should travel by the posted speed limits and not get behind the wheel impaired. Doing so, along with buckling up, could help push future annual fatal counts on Nevada roads even lower.