ROAD TO ZERO

Distracted Driving Crashes Drop But Utah Sees Spike In Fatalities

Apr 21, 2021, 11:30 AM | Updated: 11:48 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – More than 2 million licensed drivers crisscross Utah every day while commuting or traveling up and down the Wasatch Front, and thousands of those drivers are involved in crashes related to distracted driving every year.

Utah has some of the strongest distracted driving laws in the country compared to other states like New Mexico, Kentucky and Kansas, which topped the list of deadliest places to drive, according to a report by Value Penguin.

The Beehive State’s fatality rate is nine times lower than our neighbors to the southeast in New Mexico and the study put Utah at 34th out of 50 for traffic deaths related to distracted driving compared with miles traveled.

But here’s the concern: When you look at the last five years, distracted driving crashes as a whole went down every single year in Utah, similar to the nationwide trend.

In fact, last year was the first time we fell below the 5,000 crash mark since 2012.

But from 2019 to 2020 deaths jumped by 38% in one year alone.

If you look at 2021 so far, Utah is on pace for 3,800 distracted driving crashes and four deaths.

But we all know we’re heading into the 100 deadliest days on Utah’s roads — Memorial Day to Labor Day — so it’s up to drivers to put their phones down and keep the distracted driving crash trend going down.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Road to Zero

...
Dan Rascon

Utah sees spike in bicycle fatalities

According to the latest numbers from the Utah Department of Transportation, Utah has seen 11 fatalities, more than any previous year in the past decade, and there are still five months left in the year.
5 days ago
...
Lauren Steinbrecher

Speeding, distracted driving leading to increase in crashes on Utah city streets

Utah is seeing a concerning increase in crashes on city streets. On Wednesday, KSL's Lauren Steinbrecher was in Sandy as police explained which issues on the road are the worst they've seen in years and what they're doing about it.
11 days ago
...
Cary Schwanitz

Bountiful man killed, three juveniles injured in I-70 crash

A Bountiful man died in a single-car crash on I-70 near Green River last week.
12 days ago
(SLCPD)...
Josh Ellis and Karah Brackin, KSL TV

One dead after SLC motorcycle crash; third serious crash in 12 hours

Police are investigating after a person was killed in a motorcycle crash on 1300 East near 2300 South.
12 days ago
The Utah Highway Patrol has responded to 99 calls of wrong-way drivers on freeways this year....
Shara Park and Cindy St. Clair, KSL TV

Putting the brakes on wrong-way drivers: Finding solutions to deadly crashes

Utah is close to breaking records of deadly wrong-way crashes. Why is this happening? KSL News Specialist Shara Park digs into solutions.
18 days ago
FILE: A Utah Highway Patrol vehicle in Salt Lake City is pictured on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. (Dese...
Michael Houck

UHP reports four fatal crashes over Pioneer Day weekend

Utah Highway Patrol released their enforcement stats for Pioneer Day weekend, including four fatalities and three wrong-way drivers. 
20 days ago

Sponsored Articles

tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
cyber security through multi factor authentication setup...
Les Olson IT

How multi factor authentication setup helps companies stay safe

Multi factor authentication (MFA) setup is an important security measure that every company should implement for their workers. It’s also wise to install it for your personal and home accounts.
...
Lighting Design

Check out these stunning lamps with stained glass shades

Lamps with stained glass shades are statement pieces that are more than simply aesthetic. They also meet a functional requirement: to light up a room.
Address Bar of internet browser shows internet access...
AARP Utah

Utah voters 50+ support increased access to Internet

The AARP surveyed Utah voters aged 50 plus about internet access and if they support the expansion of broadband, especially in rural areas currently lacking it.
Distracted Driving Crashes Drop But Utah Sees Spike In Fatalities