TAYLORSVILLE, Utah — 2021 is a year UHP Troopers and UDOT officials would like to forget in terms of carnage on our roads.
320 people lost their lives on the state's roadways last year.
Officials announced the statistic at a news conference Wednesday morning and they want people to know these are more than just numbers. They are people who are now gone from their families, friends and loved ones.
They also know a lot of this death was preventable and that we as a state are trending in the wrong direction. Those 320 lives lost on Utah roads represent nearly a 16% increase from the year before. While, 2020 saw a more than 11% increase in roadway death from the year before that.
“Our roads have never been safer, our cars have never been safer, but our driving behaviors can be a lot safer on the roads," said Carlos Braceras with UDOT. "Too many people are taking risks, they’re driving too fast, they’re driving distracted, they’re driving impaired, they’re driving drowsy and they’re driving unbuckled.”
And so many of these deaths are preventable, in particular when it comes to buckling up and speed. UHP Troopers made contact with 123,000 drivers last year on speed related issues.
Of that number, 4,700 people were driving in excess of 100 miles an hour.
Troopers across the state are seeing the devastating affects of all of this destruction on a daily basis.
And weather does not appear to be a factor because stats show the majority of the fatal crashes last year, occurred on dry roads.
So they’re basically pleading with everyone to buckle up, slow down, do not drive impaired, drowsy or distracted.