SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Across the country, traffic fatalities have risen dramatically this year. So much that the Department of Transportation is saying it’s the largest six-month increase on record.
From January to June, more than 20,000 Americans were killed in a car crash, according to the Department of Transportation.
In June, the Utah Department of Transportation told ABC4 News at least 130 people died on the road.
UDOT’s John Gleason also told ABC4 the number of people killed in year-to-date crashes is higher than in the last 11 years.
And since the pandemic hit, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports driving patterns and behaviors have changed significantly.
Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Quincey Breur shared some of what they see on our roads.
“The speeding, reckless driving, aggressive driving. So yes, we have seen an increase in those,” he said.
Unified and Provo City police are searching for the drivers responsible in two separate hit-and-run crashes.
Early Friday morning Unified Police reported a car hit a 64-year-old woman who later died from his injuries.
And an eight-year-old boy is recovering Friday night after Provo City Police said an SUV hit the boy Thursday night while he was riding his bike.
While both of these hit-and-run incidents are under investigation, Provo officer Austin Williams said many crashes happen when drivers are distracted.
“A lot of times it’s just that distraction that pulls us away, even if it’s looking down for a moment or if it’s just checking something really quick. That’s when those accidents happen,” he said.
This year alone, Zero Fatalities reports 41 bicyclists have been seriously injured and now, 32 pedestrians have been killed by a car.