On the Site:


UDOT: 264 People Died On Utah Roads Last Year

Jan 25, 2019, 12:29 PM | Updated: 9:32 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — The number of people dying behind the wheel in Utah is down for the second year in a row, but there were still 264 fatalities on Utah roads in 2018.

Emily Prior is one of many heartbroken widows who lost a loved one on Utah roads last year.

“It’s hard to not have him here and be able to walk through life with him hand in hand,” she expressed after her husband, Tyrel Prior, died in a motorcycle crash last August.

She misses him every day. “His sense of humor, his smile, his heart,” Emily Prior described.

Tyrel Prior was on his way home from work when a woman turning left onto I-15 didn’t see him from her truck. Tyrel Prior was struck and died from his injuries.

“Just watch for them. It takes another 2 seconds,” Emily Prior begs of drivers.

Tyrel Prior is not alone. Last year, 47 motorcyclists were killed — the highest number Utah has ever seen, according to Zero Fatalities. Sadly, that’s not the only problem.

Utah Department of Transportation released fatality numbers from 2018.

Utah Department of Transportation released fatality numbers from 2018.

Utah Department of Transportation released fatality numbers from 2018.

Utah Department of Transportation released fatality numbers from 2018.


Utah Department of Transportation deputy director for engineering and operations Jason Davis explained the importance of drivers staying alert.

“People are using their cell phones when they shouldn’t. And they’re driving distracted and it’s causing crashes and it’s taking lives,” he said.

Davis said distracted and drowsy driving continues to be a substantial contributor to the problem. He said 94% of crashes happen because of human error.

Utah Highway Patrol Col. Michael Rapich also urges people to be responsible.

“Over 90% or fatal crashes come down to choices. Well, that’s choice to put on the seat belt. Well, that’s a choice to drink and drive, whether it’s a choice to be driving much faster than everyone else, and aggressive driver,” Rapich said.

UDOT reported 17 fatalities due to distracted driving, although Rapich explained those numbers are underrepresented since it is difficult to always identify distractions in fatal crashes.

Utah Department of Transportation released fatality numbers from 2018.

Utah Department of Transportation released fatality numbers from 2018.

While UDOT is proud to announce a 3.3% decrease in roadway fatalities from 2017, it is still calling for increase measure of safety from all drivers.

Davis said the decision is in each driver’s hands.

“And if you make a good decision, put your cell phone down, you’re probably going to save some lives,” he said.

With a little more work, Davis said it’s possible.

“We had more days without a fatality last year, 187 versus days that a fatality occurred … If we can educate the drivers and they make good decisions, then that number is going to go down, our fatality number is going to go down and that zero number is possible to achieve,” he explained.

Utah Department of Transportation released fatality numbers from 2018.

Utah Department of Transportation released fatality numbers from 2018.

Last year, Utah only saw 50 seatbelt fatalities compared to the 87 people who died without a seatbelt on in 2017.

“That’s probably the biggest single-year decrease that we’ve seen — at least as long as I’ve been paying attention,” Rapich said. “That is huge.”

Emily Prior lost her husband Tyrel Prior in a motorcycle crash last August. Source - Emily Prior Tyrel Prior was hit by a woman turning left in this truck who could not see him on his motorcycle. Source - Emily Prior Tyrel Prior died in a motorcycle crash last year, leaving his wife and his two sons behind. Source - Emily Prior

KSL 5 TV Live

Road to Zero

Eli Mitchell sign...

Andrew Adams

West Jordan street renamed for 13-year-old killed by drunk driver

Family members converged on a street corner Friday as city workers installed new signs marking the renaming of a street in memory of a 13-year-old boy killed in a crosswalk by a drunk driver.

11 days ago

A damaged UHP patrol car for rescue practice. (KSL TV)...

Katija Stjepovic

Utah DPS urges drivers to use extra caution when first responders are working

Utah's DPS is reminding drivers to be cautious when approaching a crash or a scene where first responders are working.

15 days ago

Canyons sticker...

Katija Stjepovic

Cottonwood Canyons sticker program is underway

Dozens of people lined up Wednesday to get their cars inspected, stickered, and cleared for the canyons ahead of winter and ski season.

27 days ago

(FILE) An UHP trooper pulling over a driver....

Katija Stjepovic

Study: Utah ranks first in increased DUI drivers

A new study ranks Utah as the number one state seeing a rise in impaired driving in the last few years. 

29 days ago

Police investigate pedestrian fatal...

Lindsay Aerts and Shara Park, KSL TV

Eight Utah pedestrians hit and killed on Utah roads in October

As Utahns head into the weekend before Halloween, state safety officials are pleading with drivers and pedestrians to use caution.

1 month ago

The city recently installed a concrete bulb-out and a pedestrian refuge island on Fourth West to ma...

Katija Stjepovic

SLC makes safety improvements at West High School crosswalk

Sharing the roads as a pedestrian can be scary, this year 26 pedestrians have been hit and killed on Utah roads.

1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

UDOT: 264 People Died On Utah Roads Last Year