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Drowsy driving affecting teens, young adults during summer road trips, UDOT warns

Posted at 7:01 PM, Jul 11, 2019

SALT LAKE CITY -- We are in the middle of the 100 deadliest days on Utah roads and the Utah Department of Transportation wants to remind drivers of the risks of drowsy driving as we’re seeing more cars on the road this summer.

UDOT Public Information Officer John Gleason said teens and young adults are affected most by drowsy driving.

“During the summer months, you have longer days, more people out on the road, more people that are taking longer road trips, maybe not getting proper sleep,” said Gleason.

Gleason said if you start to feel drowsy, the best thing to do is pull over.

“Pull over immediately, get out stretch, walk around and if you do have another driver make sure that you’re switching off on those long road trips,” said Gleason.

Drowsy driving happens the most between the hours of 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

“So many of us are trying to wrap up issues at work, trying to get out of town so we don’t have anything hanging over our heads, but you want to make sure that you’re taking time to get enough sleep,” said Gleason.

From Memorial Day Weekend to July 8 of 2019, there have been 18 deaths on Utah roads. During the same time period in 2018, there were 37 deaths.

“It’s a good thing, fewer people have lost their lives on our roads this year, and that needs to be celebrated,” said Gleason.

While the number of deaths has gone down, Gleason says ideally, the goal is to have zero fatal accidents.

UDOT says from June 2018 to June 2019, there were a total of 1,299 drowsy driving involved crashes on Utah roads.

During the summer months, drivers drifting out of their lanes account for 42% of fatal crashes.