ROAD TO ZERO

Utah sees highest deadly crashes in more than two decades entering 100 Deadliest Days

May 26, 2022, 11:55 AM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 5:21 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Memorial Day marks the beginning of Utah’s 100 Deadliest Days, a time period that runs through Labor Day when road fatalities tend to be the highest.

Utah fatalities are the highest they have been in more than two decades at this time of year.

From Jan. 1 to May 26, there have been 116 fatalities. In 2021, there were 108 fatalities. In 2020 at the same time, there were 86 fatalities.

On the “Road to Zero Fatalities,” the Utah Department of Transportation, Department of Public Safety, and Utah Highway Patrol are spreading a message of urgency to stop the trend and make safe driving a priority this summer.

Jordin Petersen Seamons is also sharing her story as a widowed crash survivor, with hopes that staying safe on the roads can help another person.

“I tell people all the time, I married the boy that I loved since I was 12,” she said.

On Dec. 23, 2018, Jordin, her husband Devin, and their then 2-year-old daughter Lyla, were on their way to see the Christmas lights at Temple Square, when a drowsy driver fell asleep at the wheel. Crossing over several lanes, the driver and vehicle crashed into the Seamon’s car head on.

“No parent can possibly prepare for that day when I had to explain to her that daddy was asleep, and he was never gonna wake up, and we were never gonna see him again,” Seamons said.

Fast forward, her daughter is now 5 years old.

“She owns her narrative and is very much aware of what happened to us. When people ask about her dad, she’ll be very open and say, ‘My daddy died in a car accident,’ and she’ll tell people how,” Seamons said.

As the state enters its 100 Deadliest Days, a reminder that there’s a person — in this case, a husband, dad, and friend — behind every wheel.

“I think people can look at a statistic and think, ‘I don’t fall in that category.’ This is something that basically, if you drive a car, you fall under that statistic, and you fall into that data,” Seamons said.

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Utah sees highest deadly crashes in more than two decades entering 100 Deadliest Days