Fewer deaths on Utah roads during this year’s ‘100 Deadliest Days of Summer’

Posted at 9:25 PM, Sep 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-05 23:25:45-04

SALT LAKE CITY - At midnight on Monday, the so called "100 deadliest days of summer" comes to a close on Utah’s roads.

The term is used by Utah Highway Patrol to try and highlight the increase in fatal accidents during the summer months.

Labor Day is traditionally the second deadliest holiday weekend trailing only the Fourth of July, according to UHP.

“Anytime you have a fatal accident it’s sad. It’s just a tragic event that is preventable. A lot of these accidents are preventable,” said Lt. Steve Burke with West Valley City Police Department.

Zero Fatalities is a campaign aimed at eliminating deaths on Utah roads. According to the group, there are some key culprits contributing to deaths:

  • Drowsy Driving: The Utah Department of Public Safety reports 40 percent of adult drivers in Utah admit to nodding off or getting sleepy behind the wheel.
  • Distracted Driving: U.S. Department of Transportation statistics indicate you are 23 times more likely to crash while texting.
  • Impaired Driving: Drug and alcohol related crashes accounted for 75 deaths on Utah roads in 2015
  • Not Buckling Up: 86 deaths in 2015 in Utah were tied to not wearing a seat belt.
  • Aggressive Driving: 64 deaths in 2015 in Utah were tied to aggressive driving.

“I’ve been asked many times if I come to a stop here and somebody else comes here who has the right of way, my answer is always the same: ‘Who cares?’ Let’s just get to where we need to go safely,” Burke said.

Going into Labor Day, the numbers were improving.

In 2015, there were 100 deaths in the 100 deadliest days before the holiday weekend. This year, it was down to 88.

But that number climbed by at least one when a 26-year-old motorcyclist was killed in West Valley City when a car turned in front of him on 5600 West at 4100 South.