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Rain, slick roads in Vegas bring uptick in weather-related crashes

Posted at 8:09 PM, Jan 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-15 23:45:22-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Car crashes usually go up on a rainy day in Las Vegas, and Tuesday saw rain along with a 30 percent increase in collisions.

The Nevada Department of Public Safety said low visibility and slick roads were the main factors.

"There's an increase both on freeways and on roads. We see I-15 and Desert Inn Road has an increase in crashes and also Decatur and Sahara," said Andrew Bennett with the Office of Public Safety.

It poured for several hours, and numerous crashes were reported. Highway cameras were being monitored at the NDPS's headquarters.

"The biggest issue is folks don't allow themselves enough of a gap between cars," Bennett said.

On a clear day, drivers usually have one car length between them and the car in front, but when it’s raining, and visibility is low, it’s better to leave three car lengths.

NDHS paired up with companies like Big Valley Towing. They want to make sure they respond first to priority crashes, and it's all done through an app.

"When the police ask for a tow truck, dispatch will call Auto Return," tow truck driver Brendon David said.

Tow truck operators often worry about getting hit by another car when out on a call as some drivers ignore the flashing lights when they’re on the shoulder.

"It could be highway patrol, somebody stranded on the road with flashers on, give us a lane, at least move over a lane if you can’t just slow down," David said.

Noel Peña-Mina also drives a tow truck for a living. He knew work was going to be busy.

"We had slick roads and mixed with the tourists we have it's pretty crazy out here," said Peña-Mina.

A couple of hours into his shift and he was already he was on his fourth call.

"I still have about six hours to go. I'll probably end up with four more but hopefully not and people stay safe," Peña-Mina said.