SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Utah officials are urging drivers to be more cautious as the last five weeks have seen a surge in auto-pedestrian crashes.
In that time, 11 people have died from being struck by vehicles, said Sgt. Cameron Roden, with Utah Highway Patrol.
“We’ve had over 800 auto-pedestrian crashes so far this year,” he said.
Of those crashes, 34 have been fatal. While that figure might seem high, it’s lower than the number at this time last year, which was 48 pedestrian deaths.
Still, there’s been recent cause for concern.
“Just in the first few days of November this year we’ve already had three [fatal pedestrian crashes],” Roden said.
The latest deadly collision happened Monday evening in Logan, when a jogger was fatally struck by a pickup truck.
Officials identified the jogger Tuesday as 58-year-old Shelley Compton, of North Logan.
While that crash is still under investigation, local police said she was not on a crosswalk when she was struck on 1400 North.
Drivers in such crashes, police noted, rarely face charges.
Still, Curtis Hooley, the assistant chief for Logan police, said drivers should always have their eyes on the road and expect that people could enter the roadway at any moment.
“Unfortunately, in this day and age, we have too many distractions in our car,” he said.
Additionally, officials said pedestrians shouldn’t assume that drivers see them.
“Make eye contact with the driver,” said Lt. Will Farr, with Ogden police. “Make sure that they are coming to a complete stop and that they do see you, and that they understand that you’re going to be crossing.”