Utah (ABC4 News) – Memorial Day to Labor Day is known as the “100 deadliest days” on Utah roads and we are almost at the halfway mark.
Sgt. Nick Street with the Utah Highway Patrol tells ABC4 News that Utah fatalities have increased during the pandemic compared to last year’s totals at the same time.
From Memorial Day to July 6, 2019, there were 109 traffic fatalities statewide. From Memorial Day to July 6, 2020, Utah has seen an increase of three.
Sgt. Street says as Utah has started reopening troopers have seen an “alarming rise in fatalities statewide.” He said at the beginning of the pandemic, Utah’s roads were empty. He said they saw an uptick in fatalities from the end of March through April and May.
As Utah’s roads have become more populated the same four hazards are causing fatalities as when the roads were empty, Sgt. Street adds.
- Drivers not wearing seat-belts
- Drivers traveling faster than the posted speed limit
- Distracted drivers
- Impaired drivers
As cliche as it sounds, Sgt. Street says buckling up really is the easiest way to save your life during a traffic crash. He says many of this year’s roadway fatality victims weren’t wearing their seatbelts, the outcome would likely been the opposite if they would have buckled up, Sgt. Street adds.
Many summer plans have been canceled due to COVID-19 so an increased number of drivers are hitting Utah roads to explore the great beehive state. During the remainder of the “100 deadliest days” Utahns are encouraged to know their surroundings, wear their seatbelts and “Drive Better.”