Distracted Driving Crashes Drop But Utah Sees Spike In Fatalities
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.
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