Las Vegas might be known for its bright lights, exciting gambling casinos, spectacular shows, awesome food, and so much more. But it’s also a dangerous place to be driving if you’re not careful. In fact, by not paying strict attention to the road, you just might end up in a car accident that can lead to serious injury or even death.

Says the pros at Morris Injury Law, a Las Vegas accident lawyer,  a car accident can and will change your life in a blink of an eye. The Nevada Department of Public Safety & Transportation reports that the number of fatal accidents in Clark County where Las Vegas is located, jumped by 24 percent between 2020 and 2021. Overall crashes increased by almost 20 percent. If you have been the victim of a car crash, no matter where it occurred in the U.S., then you are well aware of how traumatic it can be.

Perhaps the key to driving in Vegas and playing it safe is to know what to expect when you take to the roads. According to a recent report by, driving in Las Vegas, whether you live there or are simply visiting, can be a major challenge.

Driving “the Strip” is said to be a hectic experience while you are flooded with distractions. You must be vigilant for pedestrians and other drivers who will do the unexpected as they navigate the roads. If you wish to safely drive on the roads in Vegas, you must be well versed in defensive driving.  

That said, here’s how to play it safe while driving in Sin City.

What to Expect While Driving in Las Vegas

The condition of the roads you drive in Vegas depends largely on the area you are maneuvering and what time of day or night it is. This means you might find the roads to be somewhat calm or downright crazy.

The tourist areas will naturally be inundated with waves of pedestrians and tourists, many of whom will be drunk or on their way to getting there. The traffic can be bumper to bumper, with many visual distractions. Think of it as Times Square on steroids.  

You need to be on high alert if you wish to drive these busy roads safely and accident free. That means being the best defensive driver you can possibly be.

Las Vegas Grid System Layout

The good news for visiting drivers is that the streets in Vegas are laid out in a grid pattern not unlike much of New York City. Grids make sense and don’t contain a lot of confusing twists and unexpected turns like you might find in Boston, for instance. This works out well for directionally challenged drivers who’d rather be paying attention to the road than a GPS device.

Making U-Turns in Las Vegas

Says, U-turns in Las Vegas are as common as casinos. Believe it or not, U-turns are considered legal and encouraged by law enforcement as a means of controlling traffic flows. It’s said that you will see more U-turns in a single day in Vegas than you might see in a month or two back at home.

But there are areas where U-turns are not allowed. You need to look out for signage indicating U-turns are not allowed. The last thing you want to do is hit a pedestrian who’s crossing the road in a No U-turn area. However, No U-turn signs are said to be a rarity in Sin City. There are many more signs that indicate U-turns are allowed.   

Las Vegas Freeway System

Comprised of three main freeways that are engineered to transport drivers in and around the heart of the busy metro area, the Las Vegas freeway system presents its own unique safe driving challenges. The three state freeways are I-15, I-215, and I-515. They were designed to create a circle around and within the cities of Las Vegas, Green Valley, Henderson, and Paradise. It’s the latter that contains the infamous Las Vegas Strip.  

Since there are no freeway connections that access the center of town, you might be forced to drive a portion of freeway in the opposite direction to get to your destination. By doing this you will loop around the southern or northern end of the city just to get your vehicle pointing in the correct direction of where you wish to go.  

Again, just like driving the Strip, you need to pay full attention to where you’re going on the freeway especially because you will be dealing with high speeds and frequent lane changes. While an accident on the busy Strip might result in a fender bender, a crash on the freeway can cost you your life. Remember, when you’re in Vegas you want to gamble in the casino, but you don’t want to gamble with your life while you’re driving.