Category: Zero Fatalities

Drowsy driving affecting teens, young adults during summer road trips, UDOT warns

SALT LAKE CITY — We are in the middle of the 100 deadliest days on Utah roads and the Utah Department of Transportation wants to remind drivers of the risks of drowsy driving as we’re seeing more cars on the road this summer.

UDOT Public Information Officer John Gleason said teens and young adults are affected most by drowsy driving.

“During the summer months, you have longer days, more people out on the road, more people that are taking longer road trips, maybe not getting proper sleep,” said Gleason.

Gleason said if you start to feel drowsy, the best thing to do is pull over.

“Pull over immediately, get out stretch, walk around and if you do have another driver make sure that you’re switching off on those long road trips,” said Gleason.

Drowsy driving happens the most between the hours of 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

“So many of us are trying to wrap up issues at work, trying to get out of town so we don’t have anything hanging over our heads, but you want to make sure that you’re taking time to get enough sleep,” said Gleason.

From Memorial Day Weekend to July 8 of 2019, there have been 18 deaths on Utah roads. During the same time period in 2018, there were 37 deaths.

“It’s a good thing, fewer people have lost their lives on our roads this year, and that needs to be celebrated,” said Gleason.

While the number of deaths has gone down, Gleason says ideally, the goal is to have zero fatal accidents.

UDOT says from June 2018 to June 2019, there were a total of 1,299 drowsy driving involved crashes on Utah roads.

During the summer months, drivers drifting out of their lanes account for 42% of fatal crashes.

How one feature on your phone can save your life, and how to activate it

Katie Marble with Zero Fatalities stopped by to share important information to keep the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer, the 100 Safest Days!

“Human error causes 94% of all crashes. Driving during the summer months, Utah drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and people riding motorcycles and bicycles each need to practice improving their roadway safety, by changing individual behaviors.  Each one of us make all the difference.”

“Anything that takes your active attention away from the road is a distraction! In 4.6 seconds, your car going 60 MPH travels more than the length of a football field!”

She also told us about a life-changing tool to help us all make each drive our safest: The DO NOT DISTURB mode on our phones.

Steps to activate for iPHONE
• Settings
• Do Not Disturb
o Select Automatically, Manually, or When Connected to Bluetooth
• Auto-Reply
o Choose Favorites or All Contacts
• Customize your Auto-Reply Message

Steps to activate mode on Android
• Settings
• Sounds and Vibration
• Do not disturb
• Turn on now (manually turn it on and off!)

Learn about other safety features on your phone at in the Stories on their Instagram page and at zerofatalities.com.

Regional law enforcement agencies kick off ‘border to border’ seat belt enforcement

SALT LAKE CITY — Troopers with Utah Highway Patrol and officials from other local law enforcement agencies are joining with their cohorts across the nation in the Click it or Ticket “Border to Border” Operation Monday.

“Law enforcement agencies will join forces to provide increased seat belt enforcement across state borders, sending a zero tolerance message to the public: driving or riding unbuckled will result in a ticket, no matter what state,” a news release from the Utah Department of Public Safety said.

Monday’s “Border to Border” event is focused on state borders, and it’s part of a larger Click It or Ticket campaign that will last through June 2, “concurrent with one of the busiest travel and holiday weekends of the year,” the DPS news release said.

Officers, deputies and troopers from 61 agencies across the state have committed to working more than 615 overtime shifts to enforce seat belt laws and educate motorists who are caught not wearing their seat belts.

“Seat belt use is the single most effective way to survive a crash and the Border to Border initiative helps show that law enforcement nationwide is working in one concentrated effort to increase seat belt use,” said Col. Michael Rapich, UHP, in the news release.

On May 21 of 2018, a similar Border to Border event resulted in 107 citations and 748 warnings issued for seat belt violations in Utah.

 

Six motorcycle fatalities reported in Utah so far this year; drivers and riders urged to be cautious

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — With a record number of motorcycle deaths in Utah in 2018, law enforcement worries this year will bring even more devastating numbers.

Last year, 47 people died on motorcycles in Utah. Retired law-enforcement officer Aaron Zimmer is lucky he wasn’t one of them.

At the beginning of his career, Zimmer’s first fatality call was a motorcycle crash.

In Orem last fall, a car rear-ended his motorcycle while he stopped for an emergency vehicle.

“I flipped backwards and just flipped up into the air,” Zimmer said. “I kind of did a backwards summersault [then] hit the car and hit the ground.”

Zimmer underwent a month of rehabilitation. One week before, a person died in a similar situation.

According to the Department of Public Safety, 2018 brought the highest number of motorcycle fatalities in five years.

Utah Department of Transportation spokesman John Gleason said 2019 is on par to meet or beat that record.

“The number has continued to climb,” Gleason said.  “We are just moving into the spring months and already we’ve lost six people.”

The cause, according to Utah Highway Patrol Sergeant Nick Street, is more motorcyclists on the road and more distractions behind the wheel.

As the weather warms, UDOT asks drivers to pay closer attention to everyone on the road. Motorcyclists are urged to wear proper safety gear.

“There is a saying that says dress for the slide, not for the ride,” said Zimmer, who would have been hurt worse if not for his helmet and other gear.

The State of Utah is offering discounts on basic motorcycle rider classes. For more information, visit: ridetolive.utah.gov