SALT LAKE CITY — The "100 Deadliest Days" on state roads is over, but that doesn’t mean the Utah Highway Patrol and Utah Department of Transportation have stopped for pushing the message of safe driving.
UHP released numbers from the "100 Deadliest Days," showing 101 people died on Utah roads between May 28-Sept. 6.
"We need to stop and think about those 101 people, they are daughters and sons, they are husbands, fathers, mothers, wives, you know it runs the whole gamut," said Major Jeff Nigbur, assistant superintendent of Utah Highway Patrol.
Of those killed, 10 were teenagers.
“I’m sure no one thinks that that’s going to happen to them, and this is a painful reminder especially to families of those victims that were killed on our roads that we shouldn’t have to learn these lessons this way,” said John Gleason with the Utah Department of Transportation.
UDOT says every death is too many and that’s why zero fatalities is always the goal. Research shows 94% of all crashes are caused by human error and are preventable.
“If we would’ve just lowered our speed, if we would’ve not gotten behind the wheel intoxicated, if we wouldn’t have driven aggressively, if we would’ve worn our seat belts, those are lives that we wouldn’t have lost that would’ve gone down,” said Nigbur.
The number of fatalities on the roads is the same this year as it was in 2020, but a significant increase from 2019 where 61 fatalities were reported.
“We see more fatalities during the summer months because there’s a tendency to relax a little bit behind the wheel, and a tendency to become complacent," said Gleason. "We need to focus now more than any other time, but always just on being the safest drivers we can be.”
While the "100 Deadliest Days" of summer are over, but Gleason said the rest of 2021 allows drivers to make changes.
“Let’s take the information that we have right now and make better decisions, be committed to be the safest drivers that we can be, improving those areas and just improving overall safety on our roads.”