Every year, traffic crashes kill over 30,000 people and injure another 2 million. Utah's roads contribute to these national statistics. Despite a 37 percent decrease in fatalities on Utah's roads the past decade, 2014 saw a significant increase in fatalities causing law makers and officials to revamp public safety campaigns.
Of the fatalities in 2014, 68 were labeled as aggressive driving, 70 from alcohol or drug impairment (DUI) and 72 from passengers who failed to wear a seatbelt. In fact, the majority of the fatalities on Utah's roads could have been prevented.
Which of the holidays that experienced the most fatalities last year in Utah? The 2014 dataset indicates that 10 were killed on Independence Day, another 7 on Pioneer Day and New Year's Day, Thanksgiving and Labor Day all say three deaths each.
Despite the treacherous conditions Utah's weather can create while commuting, it may come as a surprise that 83 percent of the fatalities Utah experienced in 2014 occurred on a dry road. Furthermore, another 73 percent occurred during weather conditions that were considered clear.
It should be no surprise that Utah's deadliest road in 2014 was I-15. And the fatalities on Utah's roadways affected all age groups. One-quarter of deaths were experienced by the 25-39-year-old age group. Another one-quarter impacted ages 40-54.
So how can we make Utah's roadways safer? Utah's Zero Fatalities preaches the importance of prevention. After all, the best way to survive a crash is to prevent it from happening in the first place. So when you are getting behind the wheel, there a few questions you should ask yourself?
- Will I be distracted by my phone?
- Am I too tired to drive?
- Have I had too much to drink?
These simple questions can provide you moments to reconsider your decision to drive as well as make accident prevention and driving safe a priority. Help make Utah's roadways safer and let's work to a goal of zero fatalities.