UDOT says ‘Zero Fatalities’ 2020 is unique because of pandemic

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TAYLORSVILLE, Utah (ANC 4 News)— Thursday, The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) and the Utah Highway Patrol (UHP) unveiled a campaign to challenge Utahns to ‘Drive Better’ and turn the 100 deadliest days of the year into the 100 safest days. 

Historically, the period between Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day is considered the deadliest time on Utah roads, when fatal crashes nearly double compared to the rest of the year. 

Even with traffic and crashes down on Utah highways due to the COVID-19 health crisis, the state has experienced 86 fatalities so far this year – the highest total at this point in the year since 2017. With summer approaching, the number of cars on the road is expected to increase, and UDOT and UHP are warning drivers to use caution and stay safe. “

What’s unique about this year is we’re seeing fewer vehicles out on the road with the current situation but we are seeing an increase in traffic fatalities and that doesn’t make any sense it really underscores that each of us as individual drivers need to do better,” John Gleason with The Utah Department of Transportation said. “Take time to reacclimate yourself whether that’s a day or a week get yourself familiar with driving around live traffic”. 

Last year, UDOT and UHP’s Zero Fatalities program focused on making these the “100 Safest Days”. During this period in 2019 there were 41 fewer fatalities on Utah roads than in 2018 (a 40% decrease).

While last summer’s decrease in fatalities was encouraging, fatal crash numbers this year continue to climb. UDOT and UHP urge Utahns to reverse this trend and “Drive Better.” 

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