Dealing with traffic is a given in any major city, and Las Vegas is no exception. Another given with traffic: accidents and slowdowns, which lead to further gridlock. According to the Nevada Department of Transportation, in Las Vegas in 2016, the Freeway Service Patrol responded to 17,959 disabled vehicles and 2,977 crashes. These were an increase of 6 percent over the previous year. Each year as population and infrastructure in the Vegas area expand, you can expect traffic and traffic accidents to increase, as well.
There's no perfect formula for navigating Las Vegas traffic, but if you incorporate a couple of key strategies when planning your commute, you should be able to shave a few minutes off your drive time.
Map your route ahead of time
Taking a few minutes before you leave the house in the morning to map your route could save you time, gas and frustration once you're out on the road. There are a number of apps available to help you scout ahead and pinpoint problem areas on your morning commute.
Map apps like Google and Apple maps offer traffic tracking functions that allow you to see if there's a slowdown ahead and get rough calculations for how much time will be added to your estimated time of arrival. They can also offer you alternate routes as they open up or let you know when one route becomes a faster option than another.
Another free traffic app, Waze, has gained popularity with commuters and is recommended by both NDOT and the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada. It's a real-time, crowdsourced app that accurately tracks traffic slowdowns, accidents and construction projects. You can enter your destination address and look ahead to see what time of day offers the quickest commute.
You can also save a future trip with a destination and desired arrival time and Waze will notify you when it's time to leave. It makes searching along your route for restaurants, parking and gas easy, besides giving you directions to the parking lot closest to your destination.
Sign up for Freeway Traffic Alerts
An innovative technology known as FAST (Freeway & Arterial System of Transportation) run by the RTC has turned tackling your daily commute into a science.
Using live traffic cameras, ramp meters, dynamic message signs and inductive loop detection, analysts can make accurate traffic predictions and reroute drivers to reduce their drive time.
To take full advantage of these analytics, Nevada motorists are encouraged to sign up for Freeway Traffic Alerts, which RTC says "now offers up-to-the-minute alerts and information regarding I-15, 215, and US-95 traffic incident reports to help you plan your trip before you get in your car. Within seconds you can receive alerts via email and text message on your cellphone." All you have to do is visit its website and enter your email address and cellphone number.
Educate yourself on current construction projects
While it might seem that Las Vegas road construction is a never-ending process without rhyme or reason, you can learn more about current and future construction projects by researching Project Neon. NDOT calls the project "Nevada’s largest and most expensive public works project ever. The project limits are I-15 between Sahara Avenue and the Spaghetti Bowl, MLK Boulevard to the west, and Industrial Road to the east."
The Project Neon website offers bulletins on current and pending road closures and explains the vision project developers have for the future. You can also learn more about road construction projects throughout the state by visiting nvroads.com, which gives insight into current projects and offers live video footage of roadwork on major highways.
Even when you do all you can to improve your commute experience, there's no guarantee you'll avoid all the dangers of driving in high-traffic areas. Accidents can happen and victims need an attorney they can trust. The attorneys at Ed Bernstein & Associates have more than 40 years of experience in personal injury law and understand its finer nuances. Visit edbernstein.com or call 702-240-0000 to find out how to get started on the road to recovery.