SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — This Memorial Day marks the beginning of Utah’s “100 Deadliest Days” — a period spanning through Labor Day when road fatalities are typically higher than the rest of the season.
In past years, the number of fatal crashes statewide doubles from Memorial Day to Labor Day, averaging about one death each day during that time.
Data from Zero Fatalities, an ongoing campaign to end Utah’s road fatalities, indicates that the five years between 2017 and 2022 had seen 557 deaths occurring in the summer months.
This high number of fatalities on Utah roads has spurred state officials and local law enforcement to take action against reckless drivers.
According to a press release by the Weber County Sheriff’s Office: “Since 2019, the Utah Highway Patrol has stopped over 26,000 drivers traveling over 100 MPH on Utah roadways. This problem has gotten so out of hand that in 2022, legislation was passed stating that anyone traveling over 105 MPH may be charged with reckless driving.”
The Memorial Day weekend is expected to see an increase in commuters, which could mean a spike in crashes and road deaths — with data showing seven fatalities during the holiday weekend last year.
As of May 2023, nearly halfway through the season, there have been a total of 96 road fatalities. While currently lower than the 319 deaths seen in 2022, the “100 Deadliest Days” could see more accidents as travelers typically drive more aggressively to reach their destinations.
Ahead of this period, the Weber County Sheriff’s Office warns drivers to “slow down, always wear your seatbelt, be courteous to other motorists, do not text while driving and please take any other necessary precautions to avoid becoming a number in the statistics of the 100 deadliest days of summer.”