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Utah Department of Transportation urges Utahns to drive safely after increase in fatality rate during summer



Salt Lake City, Utah — After preliminary traffic fatality data showed that the state averaged one death every day between Memorial Day and Labor Day this year on Utah’s roads, a fatality rate 34 percent higher than the first part of this year, Utah Department of Transportation officials are urging Utahns to drive safely.

According to the news release from the Utah Department of Transportation 101 people died on Utah’s roads in total this summer. 10 of those 101 lives lost were teens. The preliminary report shows traffic fatalities between May 28 and Sept. 6, also known as the “100 Deadliest Days.”

“Even one death is too many,” UDOT Executive Director Carlos Braceras said. “That’s why Zero Fatalities will always be our goal, and we’ll continue to do everything we can to get there. If every Utahn commits to improving just one area of the way we drive, walk, bike, and ride, safety on our roads will dramatically improve.”

According to the research, 94 percent of all crashes are caused by human error. The news release said that to help save lives this fall, the following actions are needed:

• Buckle up: A seat belt is the single most effective traffic safety device, reducing the risk of serious injury and death.

• Drive alert, focused and sober: Distracted or drowsy driving can be as dangerous as drunk driving — and drunk driving is deadly.

• Obey the speed limit: When drivers risk exceeding the posted speed limit, the risk for a serious injury or fatality in a crash increases.

• See and protect each other: Drivers, be on the lookout for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists. Pedestrians/bicyclists/motorcyclists, do everything in your power to be seen; this includes wearing reflective gear and lights, officials said.

• Wear safety gear: Gear can make the difference between life and death.